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Homeschool Moms Giveaways & Freebies Linky Party – Week 10

Welcome to Week 10 of the Giveaways & Freebies Linky party!  We’ve been having so much fun these last few weeks with some amazing giveaways!  Thank you to all of the sponsors so far!

This Week’s Giveaway is sponsored by Mystie Winckler of Simplified Dinners

Mystie has also written the following guest post:

Simplifying Menu Planning

Have you noticed that most home management systems claim that having a menu plan is essential? It’s true. Knowing what is for dinner and having the ingredients on hand promotes peace in our minds and homes. But do you realize how many steps are actually involved in menu planning?

Typical menu planning involves multiple dependent steps:

  1. Find out what’s on sale or what coupons you have.
  2. Find recipes you can cook and want to eat.
  3. Figure out what ingredients you need to cook those recipes.
  4. Try to mesh the ingredients you need with what’s on sale.
  5. Make the grocery list.
  6. Shop.
  7. Remember what you’re going to make for dinner when, and pull it off.
  8. Use the perishables before they go bad.

No wonder we often dread it, forget to do it, or procrastinate. Five years ago I decided I needed a better solution than spreading out recipe cards, ads, calendars, and lists, and attempting to make them all magically come together into a plan.

I decided I wanted a system that met these criteria:

  • Grocery shopping and recipe choosing had to be independent rather than integral.
  • At the store, I wanted to be able to buy whatever cut of meat was on sale, or take advantage of a discovered discount without disrupting my menu plan or spending an hour at home searching for a recipe.
  • I wanted to be able to pick up whatever vegetable looked good or was on sale at the store or farmer’s market and know I could do something with it when home — with what I already had at home, without any special trip to the store to secure some special ingredient.
  • I really wanted to keep staples on hand and never run out of them and be forced to run emergency errands.
  • I wanted to keep the items on my master staple grocery list as minimal as possible, and I wanted those items to be basic ingredients, not packets and boxes containing who-knows-what.
  • I wanted meals I could throw together in less than an hour, and I wanted them to be flexible recipes I could cook off the top of my head, or with a simple glance at a reference.

That reference became my ebook, available now: Simplified Dinners and Simplified Dinners: Gluten- and Dairy-Free Edition You can win a copy of Simplified Dinners or Simplified Dinners: Gluten- and Dairy-Free Edition or have it instantly for the reduced price of $9.99 (retail $12.99) with discount code survival.

Enter into the giveaway below:

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   Mystie Winckler is a wife of one, mother of five, homemaker, home-educator, and home organizer. She blogs about simple cooking and menu planning at Simple Pantry Cooking and about creating and maintaining a cheerful home at Simply Convivial.




Other Giveaways & Freebies:

It’s time to link up!  If you’re a blogger linking up, I only ask that you link back to me, if possible.  I can’t wait to see your giveaways and freebies! (If you’re reading this in an email, be sure to click to the site to see more giveaways. More could be added all week!)


  1. It can cut down on paper clutter.

  2. I love Mystie’s organizational books, and would love to win this one!

  3. I’ve got paper everywhere. I feel like I need help with it.

  4. I really struggle with visual clutter. If I am doing something that takes thought, I find that it takes at least twice as long if I am surrounded by clutter. As a result, anything that helps me to organize in a way that avoids cluttering my visual field is something I’m interested in.

  5. Wow, this sounds great! I’m always trying to streamline dinner prep. Thanks for the chance to win.

    • Paperless organization is something I’ve needed for a while. My paper homemaking binders have always failed and ended up in a clutter pile.

  6. It would help me organize my dinner plans so that I might actually have weekly plans instead of flying by the seat of my pants.

  7. Kim in AZ says:

    I feel like meal planning is a never ending chore around here. With 7 children, lots of activities for them, lots of meetings for hubby, and ‘homeschooling’, we are all in different directions a lot and meal planning suffers. This sounds like the plan I have been trying to put together myself for quite some time!

  8. I am terrible with meal planning so any tool that will help me with it and simplifying it would be great!

  9. judith martinez says:

    I have no idea where to start with menu planning and shopping. I’ve tried different approaches and they are all either ineffective or way too time consuming!

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