A family's journey of learning how to make a home, save money and be healthy… while having fun doing it!

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Today is FREE STUFF FRIDAYS, so that you guys can try some subscription boxes for free/almost free!

Love With Food– From Love with Food: “Love with Food helps you discover new organic, all-natural snacks delivered to your door every month. Our subscription membership starts as low as $10/month. Every month, Love With Food members will receive a curated box of unique, hard-to-find tasty snacks which varies based on seasonal themes.”

Love with Food also donates a meal to a hungry child for every box sold!

Sign up here

Promo Code: Use โ€œFBGIFTโ€ to get your first box for free, just pay shipping (only $2!)

Sign up here

UPDATE: Check out our Love with Food review here.

Let us know if you have any questions or have any trouble with the links! Happy Friday!

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate / referral links!

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Plated.com August 2013 Review Plated

From Plated.com: “We are on a mission to strengthen people’s relationship with their food. We make it fun and easy to cook delicious gourmet meals at home. Our customers select from weekly menus created by top chefs, and we deliver all ingredients needed to make fresh, delicious meals in just 30 minutes.”
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Plated is a service that sends you everything you need to create a healthy meal at home, including recipes and ingredients. The items are shipped in a special package with insulation and cold packs so your ingredients stay fresh. I decided to try Plated because I was sick of wasting time selecting recipes, then shopping- which always takes me forever, and I always forget something crucial to the recipe, then end up over buying and throwing away all the different, extra wasted ingredients.

Plated lets you select how many plates you want delivered, with the minimum being 4 plates (two meals) One plate is equivalent to one serving.

The plates we chose were:
Chicken and vegetable fried rice
Whole wheat herb pizza with grilled chicken
I ordered 4 plates (two meals) for half off ($30) You can get the same deal if you click here: Plated

I seems like a lot, but when I broke it down per serving, $7.50 a person wasn’t bad at all- we’d spend way more eating than $30 eating out for one meal, and this was a much healthier option. Membership to Plated is $10/month and each serving is $12/plate for 4+ plates or $10/plate for 6+ plates. That breaks down to 3 meals for 2 people (i.e. 6 plates) for $70. Shipping is included and you can select whatever plates interest you that week or skip if you arenโ€™t into them (I skipped next week because I wanted to give it a try to see how we felt about it first, and if it was worth it cost wise).

When I opened the cooler, I was amazed. Everything was packed so neatly and labeled perfectly.
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Here’s all of the nicely organized, fresh ingredients:
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I love that the soy-sauce is gluten-free!

I really liked that the two meals were separated in two different individual packages.
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The chicken had freezer packs surrounding it and was very cold still, which is great, considering it’s 100 degrees here today.

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Each meal comes with a full-size recipe card with tips, an explanation of the meal and the recipe, including pictures. You can see the recipe card in this picture:
plated.com ingredients plated

The boys were nice enough to volunteer to try cooking this meal (I was cleaning, and to be honest, my hubby is a much better cook!)

This was before he figured out I was sneakily taking pictures of the process:
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And here’s what happened when he figured it out:

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Geez. Oh well, aren’t guys that can cook the hottest? But I’d say I’m biased ๐Ÿ™‚

And here’s his cute little helper, putting the pepper on the the chicken:
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We had one small problem, and that was that we didn’t check to make sure all of the ingredients were there (we just assumed they were all there) but we were missing the red pepper for the fried rice. I would have liked to try it with the red pepper in it, but we just didn’t feel like running out to the store by the time we got everything going. So in this case, I guess Plated didn’t solve the problem of missing an ingredient. Oh well.

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Here’s the finished recipe! Do you like how we borrowed some of the Parsley from the other dish to make it look like it’s a fancy cooking show dish? But the rice was awesome. We all loved it, especially Auds. He couldn’t stop eating the chicken. I can’t help but wonder what the red pepper would have added though!

The verdict after one dish: We liked it a lot! The food tasted great and was nicely organized. Greg said that it didn’t save much time with cooking (it still took about 45 minutes) which is what we wanted. But the meal was good and much healthier than eating out. I’m making our second meal tomorrow, so that will help us decide if we’ll keep it.

Here’s the link again to get 1/2 off your first box: Click Here

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Kitchen Aid mixer deal $134!

Hey guys! I found a great deal in my email from Brads deals today- a Kitchen Aid blender for $134 from Kohls. Im going to start making more gluten-free baked items, and this would be great for baking in large quantities for the holidays. Here’s the link:
Dont forget to sign up for Ebates to save make an additional 6% back in cash, or around $10. AND if you’re a new customer, they also usually give you a $10 target gift card after you make your first purchase!
Here’s the link:

Silver KitchenAid Classic Plus 4.5-qt. Stand Mixer listed at $299.99 = $183.99 (use code RECESS)
+ $30 in Kohl’s Cash to use toward a future purchase
+ $20 Mail-In Rebate, which get you down to just $133.99
+$10 back from ebates
+$10 gift card from Ebates = $113.99 after additional discounts, not too shabby!

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How I get all the free stuff:

A lot of my friends and family members have asked me how I get free stuff or very discounted deals. It was part of my motivation to start this website to share how to be frugal with others. Whether you are a mom, a college student, or just on a fixed income, deal sites are probably one of the best ways to get things for free. Buying things I have no interest in paying full-price for on deal sites affords my family to spend more money on the things we’d rather have and allows me to be in college. For example, I would rather be able to have extra money to take vacations and buy good, quality, organic food than spend full-price on something else. I save where I can so that I can buy other things that have meaning to me and my family.

I use a lot of deal sites. I usually sign up for the site when they are giving a sign up bonus and then I wait to use my credit until they have something I can get for free! It’s time consuming and you constantly have to check the deal sites to find a free deal, but that’s what I’m here for! I will try to alert you to when a credit will make your purchase free or very cheap!

I have purchased facials, vitamins, a free $25 water bottle (crazy, I know- I would NEVER in my life pay $25 for a water bottle!), pedicures, golf outings, kitchen supplies, and food… just to name a few! So here are the main websites I use! Go and sign up now so you can have the sign up credit so that when a good deal comes along you can use it to score some free stuff!

Groupon: groupon

Living social: living social link

Plum District: (I love this website because it was created as a deal site just for moms) -but even if you aren’t a mom, don’t let that keep you from signing up because there are lots of things on the site that make great gifts! Plum District Link

Eversave: eversave link

Keep in mind that for some of these, they will occasionally send out free $10-$15 in credit emails and these are the times when you have to jump and the website and find something that will be free!

I hope this helps get someone started!