Black Friday Deals for a Simplified Home

Below I have listed all the recommended items from my blog pages to make it easier to quickly check prices. I personally use most of the items listed below that have made it easy for me to have a simple, healthy home. Browse below and leave a comment if you have any questions about the products.

**I make a small amount for purchases made from the links below at no additional cost to you**

Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer – I love using a stand mixer because it allows me to multi-task and makes mixing incredibly easy. Kitchen Aid motors are the most durable. I’ve had this plus a hand mixer that has lasted over 20 years with a lot of heavy use.

Grain Mill – There are many grain mills to choose from. I researched and landed upon a Nutrimill because of it’s ease of use better quality and ability to start and stop it mid-grind, if needed. After owning one and using it many times weekly for over 7 years, I can attest for it’s durability too! A great investment! It is the gateway to massively increasing nutrition in foods you cook. Read my post on the Truth about Wheat to understand the immense nutritional value of grinding your own wheat. I own an older version which is not available but I recommend this one for it’s improved features and stone mill grinding.

Zojirushi Bread Machine – This is by far the best bread machine. Not only do you have many pre-programmed bread settings but you also have the invaluable custom setting. The bread pan has a nice shape and creates a beautiful loaf of perfectly cooked bread in part to the rare extra heating element on the top. Making homemade bread has never been easier or more successful!

Other Bread Machines – You can see from this link that many are on sale.

Ninja Blender We use this almost everyday for smoothies. Easy to make the whole family’s smoothies in one batch. Grinds up frozen fruit perfectly smooth when mixed with juice and yogurt.

24 Muffin Tin – I recently discovered a real time-saver:  a 24 muffin tin.  This saves so much time because you only have to cook half as much as a 12 muffin tin.  I realized that I stayed away from making muffins because of the time and work of having to repeat the cooking process 2-4 times, depending on how much you are making.  This has been hugely valuable in my kitchen because I always have several things I am making at once and it makes muffin making a super quick process.

Pot Holders – These are my favorites.  I got them because my husband wanted bigger ones that fit his hands and my arm got burnt from shorter ones.  These are now the favorites for the whole family. Looks nice and protects your arms too!

Muffin liners– Natural muffin liners.

Spatula – Set of nice spatulas in a variety of sizes.

Measuring spoons – These keep your drawer neat, yet let you take one individual spoon out easily. It is also so helpful to have two sides for multiple ingredients.

Measuring cups – Nice, durable and pretty!

Stir Crazy Popcorn Maker – We are big popcorn eaters in our house and this took our popcorn to a whole new level. We just got this a year ago & it is our new favorite way to pop popcorn. It makes the most delicious roasted flavor. You can use your own popcorn and butter to make it the healthy by using quality ingredients.

For Yogurt Making:

  • Instant Pot – This is the one with a yogurt function too. A multi-use appliance.
  • Whisk – This is my most useful whisk. The rubber handle makes it quick & easy to use!
  • Food Thermometer – After many thermometers breaking very easily, I found this durable one that has lasted a long time and is waterproof.
  • Greek Yogurt Strainer – I have had several strainers and find these round ones are the easiest to use. I use 2 for each gallon of milk. They are easy to remove the strained yogurt and dishwasher safe.
  • Instant Pot Glass Lid Because it is not pressure cooked you can get a glass lid for yogurt making.  I did this because I make so much and it is easier to wash & see inside. It also can be used for storing in the refrigerator.
  • Instant Pot Plastic Lid – I also have this lid because it seals well and allows me to store yogurt in the refrigerator while making my next batch of yogurt.


Easy Meal Prep: Top 3 Things to Buy in Bulk

The main and most important step I find to easy meal planning is… buying in bulk.

It involves some research and buying before you actually plan specific meals but saves SO much time when you actually take that final step of deciding upon a certain meal. This is all about stocking up on good quality food at good prices. If you buy in bulk you can really save money and afford better quality food. I have just a few items that I find helps tremendously in saving money, saving time and simplifying meal planning.

Where to buy in bulk??

Since buying in bulk involves large quantities of food, you really want to make sure you are getting great quality food and great prices. It is a lot more important than if you just bought a small quantity because you will be eating a lot of it!

Azure Standard is the best place I have found for quality and cost. They have a great variety of organic products at some of the best prices around. I order about once every few months. Great products at great prices! Butcherbox is my go-to for meat. We also scope out some local sources for certain items. Read on for more detailed tips!

Here’s what I buy in bulk:


Wheat berries (hard white, hard red, soft white), Spelt, Rye, Rice, Popcorn

Despite what some “health experts” say grains, in their whole form, are the most nutrient-dense food available. The health benefits of grinding your own grains are enormous! I have experienced the greatest improvement in my health by simply including food made from freshly milled grains in my daily diet. Lasting energy, massive decrease in inflammation, and increased immunity. Therefore we stock up on grains and grind our own. We have also found that cooking with nutrient-dense grains is the most delicious and satisfying.

We also stock up on a few other grains that we do not grind such as rice and popcorn. Popcorn has become a regular snack for my family since buying it in bulk. There are so many ways to eat it – plain, salted, buttered, or sweetened with a drizzle of pure maple syrup 🍁. It is gluten-free, low in calories and good for gut health! We often eat it in the evenings instead of dessert, cooking on the stovetop with olive oil to make it as healthy as possible.


Local, raw honey, sucanat, pure maple syrup, pure cane sugar

We really limit sugar but some things need a little to make it tolerable such as unsweetened yogurt and cookies. So I buy the healthiest, most unrefined sugars to use in these cases. Azure Standard sells many varieties of natural and raw sugars. I have also found good prices for pure maple syrup at Sam’s Club.

Our main sugar is raw, local honey, which has so many health benefits including allergy cure, antioxidants, and antibacterial properties. For the past year we have been taking a daily spoonful instead of allergy medicine and it REALLY helped! This was the first year I didn’t have any spring allergies. Now we are headed into fall and I’ll see how that goes. To find a local honey supplier, I went to farmer’s markets and local stores selling honey and found their source. Then I went directly to the source to get the best price possible. Search out a local honey supplier near you to reap your local benefits as well!

Meat and Fish

We found investing in a chest freezer was well worth it so we can stock up without worrying about freezer space. Because this is the foundation of my dinners, I initially invested time researching to find the cheapest way to stock up on the healthiest meat. I primarily look for grass-fed, organic meat. Now that I found a few sources, the routine is in place and this step is almost effortless!

There are several good options on where to stock up on meat. This may take a little research initially but once you figure it out, it is so easy to keep the routine going. Here are good options I suggest:

black and white cow in front of green leafed tree
  • A local farm – Scouting out local beef or chicken farms can be the most valuable step to take in meal planning. You can look for the freshest and healthiest meat available. Fortunately, I live near many farms. We buy from a local beef farmer who we trust raises organic, grass-fed healthy animals. The taste and texture are also the best I’ve ever eaten. It’s like eating at a 5-star restaurant at home! We order twice/year so it saves me a lot of time throughout the rest of the year not having to go to the grocery store. Buying in bulk not only saves money but time!

  • Butcherbox – “MEAT AND SEAFOOD DONE THE RIGHT WAY High-quality. Humanely raised. Amazing taste. Delivered to your door.” This is an awesome meat delivery service of healthy, organic, grass-fed meats (beef, chicken, pork) seafood and more. It keeps my freezer full of healthy protein to choose from for planning meals easily. You set up a schedule delivering every 1-3 months. You can pause, cancel or change your subscription easily. Also, they have lots of recipes and cooking tips on their site for the specific cut of meats or fish you receive. Weekly deals are offered constantly which is where I can really save money. With these deals, I can get prices comparable to local deals at my warehouse club. You choose the type of meat you want from beef, chicken, and/or pork then add any deals or specials (including seafood, precooked meats, bone broth, smoothies, …) up to the date you choose to buy your box. We don’t eat much pork but if we do, it is only Butcherbox pork. Their farming practices are very clean and this is the healthiest pork I can find. (Their bacon is great!) I have been buying from them for years and the meat almost always arrives frozen and in good condition. On the rare occasion a box was damaged during delivery, their customer service was outstanding giving quick refunds for anything damaged. They have many seafood deals too! I have a good supply of wild salmon filets and burgers bought at sale prices and ready to grill whenever we get the inkling. Periodically, they offer a free meat for a year or similar. I currently am getting an extra pack of bacon and 3 lbs of organic chicken breasts in every box. The bacon is totally free and the chicken was a deal I bought last Christmas where I paid a set amount for 3 lbs. of chicken to be added to every box I order. I decided to get monthly boxes this year so the free-range, organic chicken breasts end up costing just $2.64/lb. in every one of my boxes! As grocery prices have increased in recent years, I have found that Butcherbox prices have not increased nearly as much. All that to say, Butcherbox has become an extremely easy and healthy way to keep my freezer filled with fabulous meats to cook with. Another usually good deal currently happening that I haven’t seen before is if you sign up with my referral code , you get $50 off your first box! I have seen $10 & $20 off but never this much.

  • Local grocery store/wholesale club – With the convenient availability of pick-up services we now have, local grocery shopping can be much easier than in years past. I have two local stores I frequent using their free curbside pick-up often. This is a very quick way to shop and allows you to easily see all sales online. I used to do regular shopping and combined coupons with sales and got some great deals. It can be enjoyable if you have the time, but it took a lot of time. I saw it as my part-time job. However you do it, your local grocery store can be a good way to stock up on sale meats to form the foundation of meals.

Buying in bulk takes a little more time up front, but saves a lot more time during busy weeks. I used to make A lot more freezer meals but find I don’t need to as much since buying in bulk. Having the bulk of meal ingredients at home already is the most important step in saving time and money on a weekly basis! Share in the comments what bulk foods you find helpful to keep on hand!

Simple Meal Planning – 3 Step Meal Prep

…simple joy by simpler living

Cooking at home is almost always healthier than restaurant eating. When eating out, you do not know all the ingredients and there usually are some very unhealthy things added to make the food taste better. So my goal is to mostly cook and eat at home. This can be difficult though. Today I am sharing ways I simplify this process to make it achievable! No matter what your job, stage of life, or disability is, there are some easy ways to simplify cooking at home. So here is my simple 3-step meal planning routine…

1. Buy in Bulk

This is the main and most important step. It involves buying ahead of time. It doesn’t really require much effort beyond that, though, because you do not have to plan meals at this point. This step is all about stocking up on good quality food at a good price. If you buy in bulk you can really save money and afford better quality food. I have just a few items that I buy in bulk that really save me money and time later. See this post for more details about what to buy in bulk.

Where to buy in bulk??

Azure Standard is the best place I have found for quality and cost. They have a great variety of organic products at some of the best prices around. I order about once every few months. Great products at great prices! Butcherbox is my go-to for meat. We also scope out some local sources for certain items. Read here for more detailed tips!

2. Decide Meals based upon Food Already Bought in Bulk

As I wind down on my typically relaxing Sunday evenings, I head to my freezer and choose a variety of meat to defrost for the week. Since I already invested time in getting the meat, this only takes about 5 minutes to think through the different nights I need to cook and pick out a variety of meats. I have found that the top or bottom of a large turkey roasting pan is the perfect size to put large meat packs in to defrost. It is large enough to hold most of the meat I need for the week, has high sides to catch any juices that may leak, and fits nicely on a shelf in my refrigerator so I can grab what is needed easily each night I cook.

Sometime on Monday, I sit down and decide what to cook with each meat defrosted. With so much on hand from buying in bulk, I typically just need to add a few vegetables so my weekly shopping lists are rather small. I start out the plan by looking at my calendar and figuring out which days everyone will be home together and which days we will not be. On some days where everyone is going in different directions, I intentionally plan to have leftovers. It might be because sports practice is too early for me to make a meal or it may be that I am too busy certain days. Whatever it may be, I plan the days I need to cook, the days I cook double so I have l will have leftovers and the days I give myself the night off of cooking by eating those leftovers. Sometimes I also just cook extra meat to have in fridge because I have found that teenage boys eat A LOT! So finding food that tastes good as leftovers is a regular part of my meal planning. One day per week, on a relaxed evening, I usually plan something new and special.

The slow cooker is my best friend for dinners. Every meat turns out flavorful and tender. The best part for me, however, is that all the work and cleanup is done in the morning. By the time dinner rolls around, I am usually tired and busy so all that is needed is to make the sides. It is also SO nice to come home after being out of the house and smell a delicious meal cooking. I am always excited that the wafting aromas are coming from MY house😃.

The whole planning process doesn’t take me more than 10-20 minutes. I usually list the days of the week with the meal next to it. This helps so I can easily do step 3 – and satisfies curious minds! Even though I usually make a general plan, I am always open to changing it, as necessary. Sometimes we have more leftovers than planned and can skip an extra day of cooking. Sometimes appointments take longer than expected, or sometimes I am just too tired to cook. So sometimes we eat out. I have a few healthy restaurant options that we have in our back pocket for these occasions. My motto is flexibility within structure. Have a plan but be willing to flex, as needed, in life.

3. Get fresh veggies or extras needed

I love summer cooking. Fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs are available in abundance from home gardens and local farm markets. Adding any of these fresh items can complete a meal easily. The easiest thing is when I have these at home but my reality is that I usually don’t have everything I need. I do, however, have a few garden veggies, my favorite farm stands and grocery stores to pick up the complements to my meals.

Summer salads are always quick and easy. Fresh corn on the cob, green beans and potatoes found at a farm stand are a delicious and simple way to complement any grilled meat. Adding fresh basil to salads, rosemary to roasted potatoes or cilantro to fajitas can turn an ordinary entrée into a flavorful feast! Freshly made wheat bread or corn bread adds a delicious addition to fill up hungry eaters. Whatever you choose to add at this step, having a few easy regular rotations in meals and easy places to get these items make a world of difference.

An easy way I plan meals is to cook double of my main dish. When we have it for leftovers and I have extra time, I add a homemade side such as cornbread or homemade salsa to a Mexican meal. This enhances the meal and makes it slightly different than the first time to freshen it up.

Anything from scratch will always be healthier and more delicious than pre-packaged food. This can be very complicated with a long recipe, or can be very simple by roasting vegetables then simply salting or sprinkling with a fresh herb. I usually start with fresh veggies & keep the menu simple, adding only one new recipe per week. This way simple cooking can be healthy and a simple delight!

Cooking Meals

When it comes time to cook meals, it is very easy because all ingredients are on hand and I have a plan. No last minute rushing to the store in addition to cooking is needed! This saves me a lot of time and energy making it easier to accomplish cooking from scratch at home for maximum nutrition and healing! Praying you find this easy 3- step meal prep leads to you finding simple joy by simpler living too!