Tips and Tools

How We Make More Produce Work For Our Family

posted by Andrea | 10/11/2019 | 27 comments

In some ways, I feel like a broken record sharing yet ANOTHER post about our fruits and veggies. However, based on my email inbox, it’s a topic MANY of you are still so interested in learning more about! 

Today I’m sharing 3 very specific reasons why eating more produce works for OUR family for now… but might not work for YOUR family! 

Why I Save Butter Wrappers :)

posted by Andrea | 10/8/2019 | 58 comments

As you know, I’m fairly frugal — and I’m also quite resourceful in the sense that I LOVE finding another use for things I already have in the house!

Our butter wrappers are one of those things I have found a “second use” for — and although I’ve been saving them for YEARS, I’ve never thought to share the idea on the blog until now!

Simple Ideas to Repurpose Glass Food Jars

posted by Andrea | 09/19/2019 | 42 comments

Although I don’t buy nearly as many store-bought products as I have in years past, I still end up with a handful of glass jars from store-bought salsa and other sauces. 

These jars have a special storage spot in my kitchen cabinets because I reuse them for SO many different purposes — watch today’s video to see how!

5 Ways I Simplify School Snacks and Lunches

posted by Andrea | 08/12/2019 | 35 comments

As I’m sure many of you can relate with, packing snacks and lunches was something I hated doing — I even had Dave do it for a while. However, this task has grown on me over the years and I’m now to the point where I actually enjoy it! 

What made the difference for me? A simplified routine, some fantastic lunch boxes, and a few more tips that I’m sharing in today’s post!

How To Quickly Slice a Watermelon

posted by Andrea | 07/9/2019 | 23 comments

Today I’m sharing a new-to-me, SUPER simple, extremely quick way to slice up a watermelon… and it’s so much easier for my kids to eat!

Tell me I’m not the only one who had never thought to cut a watermelon this way before!?!?

Our Updated Pantry + How I Store Our Bulk Food

posted by Andrea | 05/23/2019 | 21 comments

Over the past 18 months, my cooking style has drastically changed and as a result, we’re buying most of our pantry staples in bulk.

I feel like I finally have a really good storage solution for all our bulk pantry staples — which is what I’m sharing today, complete with my first-ever chalkboard label project!

15 Non-Yeast Bread Ways We Eat Whole Grains Every Day

posted by Andrea | 05/9/2019 | 11 comments

When it comes to eating whole grains, the first thing almost anyone (myself included) thinks of is… yeast breads! However, yeast breads are often fairly time-consuming for the average home cook with 832 other things to do each day. 

If you aren’t big on the idea of baking your own breads but still desire to incorporate more whole grains in your diet each day, you will LOVE my list of 15 non-yeast bread ways our family eats whole grains EVERY day!

How I Store and Reheat Roasted Vegetables

posted by Andrea | 05/7/2019 | 31 comments

If you love the idea of serving roasted veggies with your meals throughout the week but don’t have the time to roast them every weeknight, I would highly suggest roasting large quantities at a time and reheating them throughout the week. 

This system has worked well for our family over the past 2 years… I have a feeling it will work well for many of you too! 

How to Substitute Whole Grain Flour in Almost Any Recipe

posted by Andrea | 04/25/2019 | 11 comments

For the last 5+ months, I’ve been cooking, baking, and eating whole grains every single day. 

I won’t bore you with too many details… but I WILL share a super simple way to substitute whole grain flour for all purpose in almost any of your favorite recipes — giving you more fiber and more nutrients with very little hassle or extra effort on your part! 

Homemade BBQ sauce

posted by Andrea | 03/20/2019 | 11 comments

Although West Michigan is still fairly cold, I thought a recipe for homemade BBQ sauce would be the perfect way to kick off spring here on the blog! 

The recipe is SO simple and extremely tasty — you might never buy store bought BBQ sauce again!

How I Store, Prep, and Serve All Our Fresh Produce

posted by Andrea | 02/5/2019 | 56 comments

Yesterday, I shared how I stretch our grocery shopping to every 2-3 weeks — today I’m sharing a how I store, prep, and serve the huge variety of fresh produce I buy every 2-3 weeks so it doesn’t get wasted and so my family can enjoy it at every single meal.

My hope is that this post gives you as much detail as possible regarding our fresh produce consumption… just short of actually inviting you all into my kitchen (wouldn’t that be fun though!) 

How I Stretch Our Groceries for 2-3 Weeks!

posted by Andrea | 02/4/2019 | 26 comments

Over the past 12-18 months — as our family has tried to eat significantly more fresh produce — I’ve been asked over and over and over again how I make this work without going back to the grocery store every other day.

Well, believe it or not, I often only get groceries every 2 to 3 weeks! Today I’m sharing how I make this work without wasting valuable produce.

10 Simple Food Swaps for Healthier Family Meals

posted by Andrea | 01/9/2019 | 11 comments

Over the last few years, I’ve slowly incorporated many more nutritious foods in our family meals… and to be honest, I’m SUPER impressed with how well it has worked (often without anyone noticing my swaps!)

If you’re looking for a few relatively simple ways to swap more nutritious foods into YOUR family meals, I think today’s post will give you a really great place to start!

3 Simple Ways to Stretch Your Meat Budget

posted by Andrea | 11/19/2018 | 42 comments

I’m sure you’ve heard the concept of “Meatless Mondays” as a clever way of encouraging people to eat vegetarian on Mondays — well, my family isn’t big on meatless meals, but I do have 3 really simple tricks to stretch our meat AND add a little more protein and fiber into our diets!

I’ve been using these tricks for years and years and my family has never complained (well, rarely ever!)

Impossibly Simple Slow Cooker Squash

posted by Andrea | 10/31/2018 | 35 comments

If you’ve never tried squash before, NOW IS THE TIME! They are fresh, in-season, and most likely selling at rock-bottom prices at your local grocery store or farmer’s market. 

I hope today’s impossibly simple slow cooker method of cooking squash will give you the motivation you need to serve squash as a side dish for one of your meals this week! It’s SO tasty, super nutritious, and even Clara loves it!

Our School Snack Simplifier

posted by Andrea | 09/7/2018 | 14 comments

I’ve wanted to share one of our favorite ways to simplify school snacks for some time now… but I wanted to wait until the back-to-school season was in full swing.

Now that we have a couple weeks of school under out belts, it’s time for my tip…

How Food Prep Positively Impacts Almost Every Aspect Of My Life

posted by Andrea | 05/29/2018 | 21 comments

I’ve always known food prep was an important piece of the puzzle for my simplified, organized lifestyle; however, it really hasn’t been until the last 9 months of my life that I truly started to realize just how much my entire life “falls apart” when I slack on food prep. 

This knowledge is more than enough for me to continue my not-so-loved task of food prep… as you’ll read in today’s post, it really does positively impact almost every area of my life!

How I Store and Organize Spices and Seasonings

posted by Andrea | 05/15/2018 | 27 comments

When we renovated our kitchen several years ago, we had a little space to play with on the wall with our stove. We decided to install a tiny pull-out spice cabinet and wow, have we gotten our use out of that small space!

Today, after many years, I’m finally sharing my very simple method of storing and organizing our spices and seasonings.