Angie Gets Organized

This is why I'm trying to get organized...for my family. I am a strong believer in family meal time, but I know that without a little planning, it will be hard to keep us all together. It will also be easier to spend money foolishly on prepared foods or fast food. I love trying out new recipes, so this is my site to pass on recipes, while also organizing them into a meal plan. I hope it helps you to keep your family together. I would love to hear what others are having for dinner, or see a new recipe or two! Feel free to leave me some feedback in the comments section...at least then I would know someone is reading this!

It's not gourmet...just good food!






Thursday, December 2, 2010

December Menu

I'm running a little late on posting this month's menu...I hope this isn't a sign of the times to come for the rest of the month. And I really have no excuse since this month is a "guest menu" from my cousin! She's been making menues long before I decided to post mine, and she actually inspired me to get my act together for making a menu in the first place! She actually made this menu for November, but I had already posted my November menu. So I decided to make a few changes and make it my December menu. My cousin seems to have a very busy schedule with running her girls here and there for sports and school events, so I thought her menu would work great this month (since we are all running around like maniacs!). She keeps things very simple during the week, but likes to cook bigger meals on the weekends. I hope the menu works for you all, but if it doesn't, just do what I do: make adjustments!! You know what works for your family, what they eat, when you are out, or when you feel like a big home-cooked meal. Re-work the menu items to fit your needs! But definitely get yourself organized in the kitchen with a menu...it will help in the chaos of this season! Thanks, Jen, for the ideas!

Dec 1: Pick an item from last month's menu that you didn't get to make
Dec 2: Steamers, Mac-n-cheese, veggies
Dec 3: Stromboli: I use canned pizza dough layed out flat, filled with pizza sauce, mozzarella, ham, and pepperoni. Roll up, seal edges, and bake according to directions on can.
Dec 4: Leftovers
Dec 5: Roast Chicken, Stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, and corn
Dec 6: Ham Steak, Rice or Fried Potatoes, green beans
Dec 7: Chicken Corn Soup. Use the leftover chicken from Sunday night.
Dec 8: Salisbury Steak. She uses the store-bought Banquet brand, but you could also make hamburger patties and cook them in mushroom soup or brown gravy.
Dec 9: Paninis. Italian Grilled Cheese and Meat sandwich. Works best on thicker bread. If you don't have a panini maker, just make grilled ham and cheese or grilled turkey and cheddar.
Dec 10: Pizza (homemade, frozen, or chefboy R dee)
Dec 11: Leftovers
Dec 12: Country Fried Steak. Can buy the Tyson frozen brand or make your own. Serve with mashed potatoes and gravy.
Dec 13: Quickie Chicken Potpie. Chicken, cream of potato soup, veggies, baked with stuffing on top.
Dec 14: Goulash (this was on October's menu, so if you want something a little different you can make hamburger, macaroni, and tomato soup. Just add beef broth to your desired thickness and season with Italian seasoning.)
Dec 15: Shake and Bake Pork chops, boxed Au Gratin potatoes, veggie
Dec 16: Chili
Dec 17: Out
Dec 18: Leftovers
Dec 19: Chicken Casserole. This is a quick casserole that my cousin came up with. She uses tri-colored noodles, cream of celery soup, and diced chicken breasts (cooked). Bake until warm. I think it would be good with some cheddar cheese on top, too.
Dec 20: Hamburger Helper
Dec 21: Fish Sticks and Fries. I won't be making this because I don't make fish, but some of you might.
Dec 22: Tacos
Dec 23: Chicken Patties, tater tots
Dec 24: Christmas Eve get-together/party food (meatballs, finger sandwiches, chips, etc.)
Dec 25: Christmas Dinner at the in-laws
Dec 26: Christmas Leftovers or Hot dogs
Dec 27: Soup and Sandwiches
Dec 28: Beef Stroganoff
Dec 29: Hot Turkey Sandwiches and Gravy Fries
Dec 30: Vegetable Soup
Dec 31: Subs or get-together for party foods

Saturday, November 27, 2010

xmas 2010

Joy Oh Joy American Lung Association Holiday 5x7 folded card
Shop hundreds of holiday photo cards at Shutterfly.
View the entire collection of cards.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Christmas is coming...

I can hardley believe that Christmas is just around the corner! It's time to start thinking about gifts, Christmas cards, and cookie exchanges! I LOVE cookie exchanges! No doubt you've started thinking about some of these things...a walk into any store will tell you that Halloween items are on the clearance rack and Christmas things are on the frontlines! It's a call to action...a call to get organized and ready. Black Friday will be here in just a week and a half. The sales flyers will help you get organized for store purchases, but where can you go to get ready for the daunting task of dum dum dum dum (dramatic music)....Christmas cards?? Have you taken a look at Shutterfly's selection this year?? http://www.shutterfly.com/cards-stationery They have some really cool designs. I was looking through them the other day and I was really impressed! First of all, there are so many designs that you most likely won't be picking out the same one as someone else...and even if you do, the pictures make them so personalized that it hardly makes a difference! I love the new "story" cards that they are offering, as well. These cards give you plenty of room for lots of pictures and even short little snippets from the past year...I think it would be cool to make one of these for relatives and friends that don't get to see my kids very often. They give a "newsletter" feel to your Christmas card. http://www.shutterfly.com/cards-stationery/christmas-cards
So, Shutterfly has you covered for Christmas and Holiday cards, but what about helping you out with gifts? They have plenty of personalized gifts too! I love making Calendars for the grandparents (http://www.shutterfly.com/calendars/wall-calendars ). It's so much fun looking at all the pics throughout the following year. And the picture quality is so much nicer than the calendars you get at WalMart or drug stores. They also have lots of other options to put your kids' faces on to show off to the world...everyone loves a personalized gift!
Using Shutterfly couldn't be any easier. I've tried other sites, and Shutterfly's quality and selection is by far the best I've seen. Plus, they are always running a sale on something! What could be better?.........well, maybe a cookie exchange!

(p.s. All of the opinions in this post are truly mine, but I am being compensated for saying so with free Holiday Cards from Shutterfly for letting you know. If you want to check out this promotion, go here http://bit.ly/sfly2010 Thanks for reading!)

Sunday, November 14, 2010

And this is why I use coupons...

Allow me to brag a bit...
Wow! What an incredible shopping trip I had today! I don't usually get this excited about spending my money on consumables, but I DO get excited when I can save a lot of money for things I would have had to spend that money on otherwise! I went to two stores today for the good sales and coupon match-ups...and let me tell ya, it was certainly worth it. It definitely confirmed the importance of coupons and a little planning. If you've been collecting your coupons from Sunday papers, including this weekend's...this is definitely a good week to go. I went to Rite-Aid and Giant. At Giant, I saved $84 off my bill, $30 just in coupons! And at Rite Aid, I saved with $10 in coupons, $3.99 in roll-over +UP rewards, and earned $17 in +UP rewards for my next trip! Here are just a few of the good deals that are awaiting you this week...GO AND GET 'EM!!

Rite Aid
Herbal Essences Shampoo, Conditioner, or Stylers.......$2.99-$2.00 (+UP)-$1.00 (MFG)=FREE!
General Mills Cereal.....2/$4.00-$1.00 (+UP)=2/$3.00
8 ct. Bounty Basic Paper Towels or 12 ct. Charmin Toilet Paper.....$4.99-$1.00 (+UP)=$3.99
Huggies Diapers............$8.99-$3.00 (+UP)-$1.50 to $3.00 (MFG)=$4.49 to $2.99
There were lots of Huggies coupons in my stash...so I used 3! Yes, you can repeat the +UP bargains more than one time in a shopping trip (unless the flyer states one offer only)!
M&M's and Hershey's Kisses........2/$5.00-$1.00 (+UP)-$1.00 (MFG)=2/$3.00
Luvs Diapers (family pack).........$16.99-$4.00 (+UP)=$12.99
Some misc food items (check flyer)..........4/$5.00-$1.00 (+UP)-$0.50 (MFG)=4/$3.50. I bought 2 boxes Swiss Miss Hot Chocolate, a six pack of Sun Maid Raisins, and a 24 oz. jar of Mott's Applesauce. The $0.50 coupon was for two boxes of Swiss Miss.

I'm planning on going back this week to use my $17 in +UP rewards on the Magic Gravity Ball (on sale for $19.99) for Luke for Christmas...but Ssshhh, don't tell him that!

So, all in all, I was most pleased with my diaper sale...I got three packages of name brand diapers for $12 (unfortunately, Cara's butt prefers name brand so I have to take advantage of these deals)! And I got 4 boxes of name brand cereal for $6.00. I realized later that I should have looked for a $5.00/$25.00 coupon for Rite Aid...but I forgot. So if you're thinking about spending that much, I would recommend it, to sweeten your deals even more! Look for them on sites like www.iheartsavingmoney.com.

Giant
I got a ton of Tic Tacs and Mento's Gum for the kids' Christmas stockings...I had a bunch of $1.00 coupons for them, thanks to my new babysitter!
Gerber Graduates Preschoolers Snacks.....2/$5.00-$1.00 (MFG)=2/$4.00
48 oz Wesson Oil.....$2.50-$0.40(MFG) (doubled to $0.80)=$1.70 (cheaper than Walmart's store brand!)
Keebler Crackers.....2/$5.00-$1.00 (MFG)=2/$4.00
Keebler Cookies.....on sale for $2.00 (that doesn't happen very often!)
Hershey's Baking Chips.....2/$4.00-$1.00 (MFG)=2/$3.00
Kleenex Tissues.....$1.00/box-$0.50 (MFG)/3 boxes (which is then doubled) or $1.00 (MFG)/4 boxes=$0.66/box to $0.75/box (depending on which coupon you used. I used both, so that I could send some to school.
Lipton Tea Bags..........2/$5.00-$1.00 (MFG)=2/$4.00
Lipton Cup of Soups........2/$2.00-$1.00 (MFG)=$1.00/2 boxes!
Progresso Soup............$1.33/can-$1.00 (MFG)/4 cans=$4.32 (or $1.08/can)
Combo's Snacks......$1.00/bag-$0.50/2 bags (doubled to $1.00)=$0.50/bag
Giant Italian Bread.........on sale for $1.00/loaf
Gibbles Family Pack Chips...........on sale for BOGO (2 bags for $3.49)
Marcal Napkins............$2.99-$0.50 (MFG) (doubled to $1.00)=$1.99 for 400 ct. package!
Ritz Munchables Crackers............on sale for $2.50-$1.00 (MFG)=$1.50
Friskies Cat Food................on sale for BOGO (2 bags for $3.53-$1.00 (MFG)=$2.53 for both!!)
Uncle Ben's Wild Rice..........$1.67-$1.00 (MFG)=$0.67
Pam Flour Baking Spray......$2.49-$0.50 (MFG) (doubled to $1.00)=$1.49
Herr's Tortilla Chips..........on sale for BOGO (2 bags for $3.79)
Giant Brand Oatmeal............on sale for BOGO (2 boxes for $1.99)
Bird's Eye Frozen Vegetables, Frozen Pasta/Veggie Blend (in a box), or Steamables.....$0.79!!!
***I had a $1.00 (MFG)/3 and a coupon for a Free "Lightly Sauced" with purchase of regular steamed vegetable.
Breakstone Sour Cream.....$1.29 ($1.00 MFG/2=$0.79 ea.)
Helluva Good Chip Dip....2/$3.00-$1.00 (MFG)=2/$2.00!!

Giant also had their coupon doublers this week, so I saved another $4.00 on top of these bargains. I also earned a $3.50 coupon and a $3.00 coupon for my next visit! I have to say, I am very proud of myself...I couldn't stop smiling all the way home! I had "coupon glow"! Ha Ha!
Get clipping folks...there will be plenty of bargains on food between now and New Years. This is my favorite time of year to stock up because there are such good sales.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Sausage, Potato and Cheese Waffles

Sausage, Potato and Cheese Waffles

1 link sweet Italian Sausage (about 3 ounces), casing discarded
1 baking potato, grated and excess water squeezed out
4 tablespoons butter
1 3/4 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking power
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 1/4 teaspoons pepper
2 cups milk
2 large eggs, lightly beaten

1) In a medium skillet, cook the sausage over medium-high heat, breaking it up with a fork, for 5 minutes. Add the potato and butter, lower the heat and simmer until the butter is melted, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool, about 10 minutes.

2) In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cheese, parsley, salt and pepper. Stir in the milk and eggs until smooth. Stir in the sausage-potato mixture.

3) Using a waffle maker, cook the waffles according to the manufacturer's directions.

SERVES 10 PREP 20 MIN COOK 30 MIN

recipe from: rachaelraymag.com/september

Friday, November 5, 2010

Creamed Chicken and Biscuits

Creamed Chicken and Biscuits (adapted from a Southern Living recipe)

1/2 c. each diced onion, celery, and sliced mushrooms (I will omit the mushrooms)
1. Saute in a teaspoon of butter or oil until tender. Meanwhile, add 1 bag of frozen peas and carrots to a pot of boiling water (can use mixed veggies, instead, if desired).
1 Can Cream of Chicken soup, 1/2 c. milk, 1/4 tsp. tarragon (I'll use thyme and poulty seasoning, instead)
2. Add to the onion and celery. Mix well, simmer for a few minutes.
1 c. cheddar cheese, 2 1/2 c. cooked chicken (leftovers or rotisserie work well), salt and pepper.
3. Stir into simmering soup mix. Pour into lightly greased casserole dish.
1 can jumbo biscuits
4. Top with biscuits and bake in preheated oven (use temperature on side of biscuit can). Bake until biscuits are done (10-15 min). Biscuits will bake better when starting with hot soup mix (in other words, if making the soup mixture ahead, it should be heated before baking).

Saturday, October 30, 2010

November Menu

Is it really November already?? I can hardly believe it! But the beautiful trees and dropping leaves give it away. There is a nip in the morning air, even if we get tricked by afternoon sunshine and a warm Indian Summer. The kids are still high on Halloween candy, and I'm still letting them eat it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. (Hey, the sooner they eat it, the sooner it's gone...no sense fighting it.) But, now it's time for a new menu...one that doesn't include candied apples, but maybe some baked apples or apple pie for dessert instead! Let's take some time this month to ponder all the blessings that God has given us. We have warm places to live, yummy food to eat, and wonderful families and friends that surround us with love everyday. The Lord is truly GOOD to us!

"Give thanks to the LORD because He is good. His love continues forever." Psalms 136: 1

Nov. 1-6:

1. Hamburger Supper: I've posted this one before, so you should be able to find the recipe within the blog. It is a family favorite, kind of a quickie beef stew. It has hamburger, onion, potatoes, and carrots in a brown gravy. It is a one pot supper, which I love.
2. Spaghetti: This makes our family's menu at least once a month! We can't help it, it's easy, and we love it!
3. Honey BBQ Chicken Tenders (crockpot meal): This is a repeat post as well, check in the April recipes.
4. Chili over rice: I'm going to make this a one pot meal, cooking the rice right in the tomatoe-y broth.
5. Chicken Patties and Fries: Friday's are always my easy day. After cooking all week, who wants an involved meal?
6. Leftovers

Nov. 7-13:
7. Ham Slice and Fried Potatoes
8. Creamed Chicken and Biscuits: There are several variations on this one that you can find in cookbooks and online. I'm basically using canned soup, canned chicken, mixed veggies, and biscuits from the dairy isle. Sometimes you just have to keep it simple.
9. Steak Stew (crockpot): This is a fabulous way to make a cheap cut of meat very tender. It is basically a hearty vegetable soup.
10. Sausage, Potato, and Cheese Waffles: This is a new recipe that I will be trying. It is from Rachel Ray's magazine. It looked pretty good, like an all-in-one breakfast. Hopefully, it's not too complicated or more work than it's worth. We can try it together and rate it.
11. Shake and Bake Chicken Nuggets and Parmesan Noodles: The parmesan noodles are just the Lipton noodles in a pouch. I prefer to make my own chicken nuggets when possible because I know what's going in them. But as you can see from Nov. 5th, I do still serve store bought chicken on occasion.
12. Hot Roast Beef Sandwiches (Hardee's style): This is so easy and satisfies my hunger for fast food when I really need to stay at home. Pick up some roast beef from the deli, fry it in a skillet and serve it on toasted buns. If you really want to get "fancy" (ha ha) you can make some au juis (spelling??)--beef broth-- and make a steakhouse beef dip sandwich, like they make at Quiznos. Just add some melted cheese and dip the sandwich in the beef broth. Yummy!
13. Leftovers: you knew it was coming folks!

Nov.14-20
14. Taco Stuffed Shells: I've posted this recipe before. It is a Taste of Home recipe.
15. Hamburgers and Mac&Cheese
16. BBQ Chicken, potatoe cubes, corn, and cheese casserole: I'm making this one up, as I saw it in the frozen food isle. (I get a lot of inspiration there when I'm tempted to buy those expensive meal-in-a-bags). I figure I should be able to make this for a lot cheaper than buying it already prepared. I'm going to put my raw chicken chunks and potatoes in a casserole dish, mix it around with a little BBQ sauce, and add some corn. I'll bake it until almost done, and then add some cheddar cheese. We'll see how this one goes...sometimes I come up with a winner, and sometimes the kids say "NEVER MAKE THIS AGAIN! YUCK!".
17. Ham Loaf Meatballs with sauce: I use the ham loaf mix from Butcher Shoppe, as well as their recipe. But instead of a loaf this time (which is not Shane's favorite), I'm going to make the mix into meatballs and pour the sauce over top. The kids love this!
18. Pancakes and Eggs
19. Pizza Boats: Instead of making my own crust this time, I think I will make pizza out of the long french bread loaves that you buy at the store. You can usually buy 2 loaves for about $2.00 at Walmart, so it should be a pretty inexpensive supper.
20. Leftovers: again!

Nov. 21-27:
21. Meatloaf and Mashed Potatoes: just your standard recipe
22. Creamy Chicken and Pasta: This is out of the Campbells cookbook. I will try to post as soon as possible.
23. Egg Rolls and Fried Rice: We LOVE to make our own egg rolls! They really aren't that hard, and again, it keeps us from going out to eat! This is another Taste of Home recipe.
24. Baked Italian Chicken: I've never tried this, but as I was planning the menu, my co-worker gave this idea to me. She said she marinates her chicken in Italian dressing for the day, then fries the chicken lightly on each side. She then transfers the chicken to a casserole dish and empties a can of Italian-seasoned diced tomatoes on top and finishes baking the chicken until cooked through. Sounded good to me!
25. Thanksgiving Dinner!!!! Bring on the turkey and stuffing!
26. Thanksgiving leftovers (I hope!). If not, we'll just do grilled cheese and tomato soup.
27. We'll finish the week with any other leftovers from the fridge.

Nov. 28-30
28. Pork Meatballs over Sauerkraut: This is a twist on the traditional pork roast. Just buy a package of ground pork, add breadcrumbs and an egg, and shape into meatballs. Brown quickly in a frying pan, then transfer to a crockpot (or regular stovetop pot) filled with sauerkraut. Cook until meatballs are done.
29. Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo: This is from the Campbell's cookbook. Will post the recipe later.
30. Beef Stew: not sure if I'll be doing this in the crockpot or on the stove. Either way, it is one of my favorite fall dishes.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Apple Cinnamon Pork Chops

I received this recipe from a friend in a cooking group. She said the recipe was originally designed to be a marinade, but we've basically turned it into a crockpot meal. It is delicious and wonderful in the fall.

Apple Cinnamon Pork Chops
4 thick porkchops or 6 thin porkchops
1 1/2 c. Italian dressing
4 cloves garlic
1 1/2 c. BBQ sauce
3-4 large apples (more or less to taste...depending on if you plan on eating the apples with the pork-which I recommend!, but the rest of my family doesn't do)
1 Tbsp. cinnamon
2 Tbsp. sugar
3 Tbsp. butter

Combine all ingredients in crockpot. Apples should be peeled and sliced. Cook on low 7-8 hours.

Old Fashioned Chicken Potpie

Usually I use the Southern Living Recipe for this dish, but a friend of mine gave me this recipe that calls for cream cheese in the crust. That one ingredient really changes the flavor, but in a good way. It adds a little zing to the crust. But if you do not like the flavor of cream cheese, you might want to stick to the Southern Living Recipe.

Amy's Old-Fashioned Chicken Pot Pie

Crust:
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 1/4 c. flour
3/4 c. butter, softened

1. Mix the ingredients in a bowl until a smooth dough develops. Knead a few times. Separate the dough into two balls (one using 3/4 of the dough, and one using 1/4 of the dough). Roll the larger ball into a rectangle (or shape that will fit down sides and bottom of 8x8 sized casserole dish). Set the small ball of dough aside until filling is made.

Filling:
3 Tbsp. butter
1/4 c. flour
2 c. chicken stock (preferably from cooking off a chicken) or 2 c. water seasoned with 3 Tbsp. chicken bouillon
2 c. frozen mixed vegetables, thawed
2 c. cooked chicken, cut into bite-sized pieces
salt and pepper to taste
parsley to taste

1. Melt butter in large pot over medium heat. Add flour, stirring with a whisk until completely combined. Continue stirring a few minutes. Add chicken stock slowly, whisking to combine the butter/flour into the stock. Add the veggies and cook until tender. The stock will be thickened. Do not cook at too high of a temperature, or you will scorch your filling!!
2. Pour filling into prepared bottom crust. Roll out the remaining dough ball into an 8x8 square. Fit the dough on top of the filling, pinch crust closed around top of casserole to seal. Prick holes in top of crust to vent air while baking. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 min.

5-6 servings

Ranch Turkey (Chicken) Pasta Dinner

This is a Taste of Home recipe. It calls for leftover turkey or chicken, so it should be a quick dinner. I'm going to use chicken, but it might be good to keep in mind for leftover turkey since Thanksgiving is coming up.

Ranch Turkey Pasta Dinner

2 1/2 c. uncooked penne pasta
6-8 Tbsp. butter, cubed
1 envelope ranch salad dressing mix
1 c. frozen peas and carrots, thawed (would be good with broccoli, calliflower, and carrot medley)
3 c. cubed, cooked turkey (or chicken)

1. Cook pasta according to directions, adding the peas and carrots near end of cooking time. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, melt butter. Stir in salad dressing; mix until smooth. Drain pasta and veggies; add to skillet. Stir in meat; cook 3-4 min or until heated through.

4 servings

Baked Salisbury Steak

This is a Taste of Home Recipe that I'm looking forward to trying. It's on the menu for October.

Baked Salisbury Steak

1 c. quick cooking oats
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 c. each: chopped green pepper, celery, and onion (I will probably just use onion)
1/2 tsp. salt
2 lbs. ground beef
1 can condensed golden mushroom or cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
3/4 c. water
1/4 tsp. pepper

1. In a large bowl, combine the oats, eggs, green pepper, celery, onion, and salt. Crumble beef over mixture and mix well. Shape into eight oval patties. In a large skillet, brown patties on both sides; drain.
2. Place patties in an ungreased 13x9 baking dish. Combine soup, water, and pepper; pour over beef. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 min or until the meat is no longer pink.

8 servings.
* This could be frozen after the patties have been browned and combined with the soup. Thaw in fridge overnight and continue with step 2.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

October Menu

I worked on the October Menu all day...well, off and on, when the girls were busy coloring on their papers, their arms and legs, and the table. Thank you Crayola for washable everything! I love Fall, and the suppers that I can make in the Fall...the ones that just feel right for crisp evenings. Soups, Casseroles, and Comfort Food!! I hope you enjoy the menu and the new season. October is a busy month for us...lots of birthdays and Halloween prep. I'm hoping to get all these meals worked in, so that I don't spend carelessly at restaurants. That is part of our family goal for this year, to be better organized and to be better stewards of our money.

Oct. 1-2:
(F): Ham and Cheese Calzones: We keep this real simple for a Friday night; using canned pizza dough, deli-sliced ham, and shredded cheese. Lay out the pizza dough into a rectangle. Use a pizza cutter to divide the dough in half (or quarters if you want personal sized calzones). Spread a thin layer of ranch dressing on the dough (or you could use pizza sauce), top with ham slices, and shredded mozzarella or cheddar cheese. Fold the dough over and seal the edges. Bake according to the directions on the pizza dough can.
(S): Leftovers: We have plenty from this week!

Oct. 3-9:
(S): Shepherd's Pie: There are tons of recipes for this comfort food. And it can be made with fresh mashed potatoes, leftover mashed potatoes, or instant mashed potatoes. I make it with ground beef, onions, celery, diced tomatoes, and corn in the meat layer (thickened with a little flour and beef broth) or brown gravy. Top the meat layer with mashed potatoes and cheddar cheese and bake till cheese is melted and everything is hot.
(M): Baked Ravioli Casserole: This can go from simple to more involved, depending on your schedule. Simple: Layer thawed ravioli with spaghetti sauce and mozzarella cheese. Bake till hot and cheese is melted. Involved: Make a meat sauce with hamburger and spaghetti sauce. Layer the ravioli with the sauce, alternating with cheese layers that are closer to lasagne style (16 oz cottage cheese mixed with one egg), and then topped with mozzarella cheese. Bake till hot and cheese is melted (about 30 min).
(T): Chili and cornbread
(W): Pancakes with Sausage and Eggs
(TR): Corn Chowder, Breadsticks. I think I've posted this recipe before...will have to check. :)
(F): Hot Turkey Sandwiches with French Fries: Can use the Banquet frozen turkey slices or good deli meat (I prefer the store roasted turkey from Butcher Shoppe). Will have to buy turkey gravy.
(S): Leftovers.

Oct. 10-16 (Birthday Week in our house!!)
(S): Probably eating out or doing something fun for Ryan's birthday.
(M): Ham, Green Beans, and Potatoes: Comfort Food from the crockpot. Throw it all together with a ham hock (ham shank), and cook on low all day. Yummy!
(T): Pepperoni Chicken: Cut a slit in the sides of 4 chicken breasts (or number required to feed your family), stuff with pepperoni and mozzarella cheese. Place in casserole dish, cover with pizza sauce. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 min. Top with extra mozzarella cheese near end of baking time.
(W): Sausage Tortellini Soup: I know I've posted this one before, but will have to work on getting it linked somehow (sorry, still trying to make this blog more user-friendly). May have to search thru old posts.
(TR): Goulash: Hamburger, Macaroni, and Tomatoes with a bit of Italian seasonings. Easy Comfort Food!
(F): Chicken Quesadillas: Use any leftover chicken you may have from Tuesday (or better yet, bake extra so that you are prepared!). Place cooked chicken, salsa, and cheddar cheese between two flour tortillas and lightly grill in coated frying pan or on panini maker. Make as many as you need.
(S): Leftovers or Eat out for Luke's birthday

Oct. 17-23
(S): Cinnamon BBQ Pork and Apples: a great Fall crockpot dish. Will have to post the recipe, but it is basically pork chops, sliced apples, cinnamon, BBQ sauce, Italian dressing, and garlic. We love this one!!
(M): Sloppy Joes: Just your standard recipe with some homemade potato wedges.
(T): Baked Chicken Potpie: Another favorite Comfort Food that has a gazillion recipes. Simple methods use Bisquick topped chicken and veggies in a canned-soup gravy (recipe on the side of the box). But I prefer the old-fashioned method: Cooking the chicken off the bone, rolling out a top and bottom crust, and making the filling with chicken stock, and mixed veggies. I use the Southern Living Recipe which, I'm sure, is available online.
(W): Baked Salisbury Steak: Will have to post the detailed recipe, but it is basically a hamburger patty with Golden Mushroom or Cream of Mushroom gravy on top, baked in the oven.
(TR): Ranch Chicken Pasta: The original recipe calls for turkey meat, but I'm going to substitute chicken (unless turkey cutlets are on sale this week). This uses a packet of ranch dressing mix, penne pasta, lots of butter, peas/carrots, and chicken/turkey. Will have to post the recipe from Taste of Home later.
(F): Homemade Pizza (or storebought)
(S): Leftovers (the chicken potpie makes a ton!)

Oct. 24-31
(S): Chicken Rice Casserole. I'm pretty sure this recipe is in the Campbell's cookbook, but their are lots of these online too.
(M): Lasagne Soup and breadsticks. This is basically ground beef, onions, tomatoes, beef broth, Italian seasonings, and lasagne noodles (broken up) or curly noodles. You could throw in leftover spaghetti sauce too, if you have any. That's why I love soup...they are so forgiving and you can put in whatever you want to suit your family's tastes. When the soup is done, top each bowl with mozzarella cheese to melt. Or, if you're a big fan of ricotta cheese, put a dollop into each bowl before ladeling the soup into the bowl. It will sort of melt and blend into the soup. Pretty good, but too strong for my family's tastes. (we prefer the mozz!)
(T): Apricot Honey Chicken: Another Taste of Home recipe. Will have to post the recipe. Uses apricot preserves and honey over skillet cooked chicken breasts.
(W): Slippery Ham Potpie: I really hope I don't "poop" out by this time of the month, since this my husband's one request for the month. Making it the old-fashioned way: cook off a ham hock and then use the broth to cook the potpie noodles and potatoes. I prefer to make my own noodles instead of using "potpie bows"...it is soooo much better! I have posted the recipe before.
(TR): Breakfast Casserole: Not sure which one I will make...will depend on what meat is on sale this week. There are tons of recipes on the internet.
(F): Pigs in a Blanket. Another easy one for Friday night. Not the healthiest, but definitely comfort food! Roll a hotdog in cresent roll dough, and bake according to dough instructions.
(S): Leftovers
(Su): Halloween!! We will be trick or treating...so I'm not sure what we'll be having. I always have big plans to make "scary" food for the kids, but there never seems to be enough time! There are great ideas on familyfun.com. I'll be checking it out, for sure!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Homemade Chicken and Dumplins'

1. Cook a whole chicken in boiling water until meat starts to separate from the bone. Remove chicken from water, cool, and pick meat from bones. Strain broth to ensure no tiny bones remain.
2. Add onion, celery, salt/pepper, poultry seasoning, and parsley to broth (to taste). Bring to a boil and then add a bag of frozen peas and carrots. After veggies are tender, reduce heat of broth.
3. Add two cans of cream of chicken soup or one can cream of chicken and one can cream of mushroom soup. This will make your broth very creamy. Add picked chicken (that has been cut into bite-size pieces). You could also use canned chicken or cut-up chicken breasts if you don't want to go through cooking a whole chicken. But you will want to start with canned chicken broth so that the soup has a better flavor. Bring soup mixture to a low boil (you don't want to scorch the soup!).
4. Using the directions from side of Bisquick or Jiffy Mix box, mix up a batch of dumpling dough. For Jiffy Mix: 2 c. Jiffy Mix and 2/3 c. milk. Drop the dough onto the boiling stew, cover tightly with lid (no peeking or your dumplins will fall and be tough!). Cook for 12-15 min. Dumplins should be light and fluffy sitting on top of your stew.
5. If you have a lot of leftover stew after the dumplins are long gone (as happens in my family), the stew makes a great base for chicken noodle soup. Just add enough linguine noodles (broken into small noodles) to cook in the leftover soup. Makes a great "leftover" lunch for next day!

Spaghetti Casserole

8 oz. spaghetti (or pasta of choice)
2 eggs
1/4 c. cream (or whole milk)
1 tsp. dried basil leaves
1 lb. bulk sausage (or ground beef)
handful of chopped onion
2 cloves chopped/minced garlic
1 jar spaghetti sauce (or 14 oz canned diced tomatoes, 8 oz tomato sauce, and 6 oz tomato paste)
1 c. beef broth
1 tsp. dried Italian seasoning
2 c. colby-jack cheese

1. Cook Spaghetti as directed on package. Meanwhile, beat eggs, cream, and basil in large bowl. Drain spaghetti and immediately add to egg mixture. Toss to coat. Place in 9x13 baking dish.
2. In heavy skillet, cook sausage with onion and garlic until browned. Drain fat. Add remaining ingredients, except cheese. Simmer to blend flavors. Pour sauce mix over spaghetti. Top with cheese.
3. Bake at 375 degrees for 30-35 min until thoroughly heated and cheese is melted.

** This is from my Meals for a Month cookbook, so it is freezer-friendly. A 9x13 would be more than our family would eat in a sitting so I would most likely make an 8x8 to eat immediately and freeze the other half.
**To freeze: Follow recipe, except line casserole dish with plastic wrap before putting spaghetti into it. Layer the casserole as directed, cover with plastic wrap, and freeze in the casserole dish. When frozen, lift the casserole out of the dish and place in large freezer ziplock bag. Put cooking directions on outside of bag. When ready to use, remove plastic wrap and return the casserole to the baking dish (it should fit perfectly!). Thaw overnight in fridge, bake 40-50 min at 375 degrees.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Menu for September

Wow, did you think I took a permanent vacation?? Yea, I wish! Summer was just really hard to get myself totally organized. I still cooked a lot, but just didn't plan as far ahead as I like to. Know what I learned?? I learned that I really did like having the month (or at least 2 weeks) of meals planned. It was really more stressful to have to come home from work, pick up kids at 2 different babysitters and then figure out dinner. So, with the girls taking extra long naps today, I decided to figure out a menu for September. I'm hoping that with the boys back in school, there will be more quiet time around here to figure this out month to month.



Sept 1-4:

Breakfast Skillet: just throw in what you like. We like hashbrowns, eggs, sausage, onion, and cheese. Serve with toast and fruit.



Hobo Dinners: a lean ground beef patty, sliced potatoes, and sliced carrots in an aluminum foil pack. Lay out a large sheet of aluminum foil. Form the hamburger patty and lay in the middle of the foil. Top with slices of potato, carrots, and a ring of onion (optional). Season with salt and pepper, and worchestershire sauce. Close the foil packs (do one pack for each hamburger patty), and bake at 350 degrees until the hamburger is cooked through and veggies are tender.



Homemade pizza, frozen pizza, or takeout



Leftovers



Sept 5-11:

Chipped Beef Gravy over biscuits (although this is my birthday...so I'm hoping to go out!!)



Ham Slice, fried potatoes, veggie



Roast Chicken (in oven or crockpot, or rotisserie from grocery store), mashed potatoes, corn



Beef and Bean Burritos: super easy recipe! Brown 1 1b ground beef with garlic and onions. Add one can of refried beans and one jar of salsa. Can add some taco seasoning, cumin, or hot peppers if desired. Fill tortillas, add cheese, enjoy! These can also be made ahead and frozen for later.



Chicken Hashbrown Casserole: use leftover chicken in a cheesy hashbrown casserole recipe. Will have to post the recipe later.



Grilled Cheese Sandwiches



Leftovers



Sept 12-18:

Pepperoni Spaghetti Bake: a baked spaghetti casserole with pepperoni, sauce, and cheese. Recipe does call for eggs, so I will have to post the recipe later.



BBQ Chicken Salad: I'm trying to duplicate my favorite salad from Cafe DelSol. Grilled BBQ chicken breasts (sliced), salad greens, corn, black beans, cheese, cilantro (which I will omit), and french fried onions. Yummy!! I'll use ranch dressing.



Meatballs: Homemade meatballs baked in the oven with spaghetti sauce. I will serve with baked mac-n-cheese for a total calorie overload. I'm not even going to weigh myself in the morning!!



Stuffed French Toast: Thought I better use a weight watchers recipe to follow the meatballs! Make regular french toast, but before frying, spread the inside of the bread with lowfat cream cheese and bananas (or fruit of choice). Brown on both sides, dust with powdered sugar. If you want to make it a little more fattening, use the blueberry cobbler bread that is sold at Walmart.



Chicken and Dumplins: the old fashioned version is my favorite. Will cook off a chicken (although you can use canned chicken or chicken breast for a quicker supper), and use the broth to make slippery potpie (dumplins). Will post the recipe later.



Subs (homemade or takeout)



Leftovers



Sept 19-25:


Roast Beef, Mashed Potatoes, veggie

Southwest Chicken Pasta: Penne pasta with cheesy sauce, topped in grilled chicken, black beans, and tomatoes.

Paninis: my favorite grilled sandwich. The kids prefer ham, pepperoni, sauce, and mozzarella. Shane and I prefer beef, mozzarella, and grilled onions. If you don't have a panini maker, you can still have the sandwiches. My recommendation, though, is to use thick sliced Italian bread, so that it doesn't just turn out like a smooshed grilled cheese. Grill it with a heavy pan on top to flatten it slightly.

Pork chops or Pork Roast (depending what is on sale)

Chicken Noodle Casserole: Shane's request for the month. Basically it is cubed/chunked cooked chicken with egg noodles (and a little broth) topped with bread cubes and baked. I like to add onion, celery, pepper, and poultry seasoning to the broth for extra flavor.

Hamburgers/Hotdogs on the grill: our farewell to summer...

Leftovers

Sept 26-30:

BBQ Beef Tips over Rice: start with cut up round steak or stew meat, add the sauce, and cook in the crockpot all day. I believe I've posted the recipe before, so I will try to link it for easier reference.

Spaghetti, Garlic Bread, Broccoli

Tacos/Taco Salad, Corn

Homemade Chicken Fingers, mac-n-cheese

Meatloaf Minis: a Kraft recipe. Your basic meatloaf recipe will work also. Just put the meatloaf in a cupcake pan (divided among the 12 cups), put an indentation in each cup of meat, put a dollop of BBQ sauce in the middle, and bake at 350 degrees. Add cheddar cheese near end of baking.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Menu 6/14

Here's a few ideas for this week: (I'm trying to stick with some meals from leftovers or meat that I already have in the freezer). And I'm only posting 5 meals, since we have baseball games two nights this week...hopefully there will be enough leftovers to cover us those nights...if not, PB&J here we come!

Hamburgers, home-made french fries, corn

Chicken Italiano: brown 6 slices bacon in a frying pan with 2 cloves garlic, drain, reserving 2 Tbsp. grease. Crumble bacon and set aside. Fry 2-3 small chicken breasts in the reserved bacon grease, cut into thin slices, set aside. (The chicken can also be grilled or leftover cooked chicken). Dump 2 cans of petite diced tomatoes into the frying pan (can use the Italian seasoned tomatoes for extra flavor if desired). Add italian seasonings (oregano, basil, marjoram, and thyme leaves) and pepper (touch of red and black) to desired taste (easy on the red pepper for the weak of tongue). While this stews to incorporate flavors, boil bow tie pasta or angel hair pasta till al dente. Add chicken to tomato sauce (can add chicken broth if sauce is too thick). Serve pasta with sauce, crumbled bacon, and parmesan cheese. Yummo!!

Cheesy Hashbrown Casserole with ham: use leftover ham in your standard hashbrown casserole. My casserole calls for cream of chicken soup, sour cream, cheese, and onions. You can find multiple versions of the recipe on myrecipes.com. I'll add ham to mine to jazz it up from just a standard side dish.

Lasagne: use your favorite recipe!

Pork BBQ sandwiches with coleslaw on top: never underestimate the flavor enhancing ability of a good slaw! I'll do the pork BBQ in the crockpot so that it falls apart (most likely using boneless porkchops).

Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Hot deals for this week

I'm finally getting back into the swing of things...I just haven't been feeling like planning or couponing or much of anything for this past month. Baseball hit us hard, with both boys playing this year...our May Calendar was so full that it was a little overwhelming. And even though I was still cooking, it just felt too unpredictable to be holding myself to a menu. Hopefully, if you've needed some ideas you've just looked at my past three month's menus. (I know that's what I've been doing). Well, here are a few things that I've found to pass along for this week. Some are from our local flyers and some are from the iheartsavingmoney.com website ( I love that site!!).

Rite Aid
10x10 Party Gazebo $19.99 I think this will make a great cover for a baby pool or over the picnic table

Huggies Jumbo Pack Diapers $6.99 aftera $2 SCR. There are also several coupons hanging around from Sunday papers and online coupon sites to make the deal even hotter.

Lots of deals on sunblock, although I don't think the Ollie's deal can be beat (see below)

Kleenex tissues $0.99 a box Pretty good deal since our kids seem to be using a ton for allergy season!!

Martin's
Green's Ice Cream 2/$5.00 Also includes store brand Ice Cream Sandwiches

12 pack store brand hamburger/hotdog rolls or store brand Italian bread (loaf) $1.00 each!! Great deal for the cookouts!

Sara Lee Whole Grain White Rolls 8 pack $0.99 with in-flyer coupon

Store brand party cups 20 count $0.49 with in-flyer coupon

Kraft Cheese Singles 24 slice pkgs 2/$4.00. This is a great deal, but must buy 2.

Oscar Mayer Weiners BOGO ($3.19 for both)

Sweet Baby Rays BBQ sauce $1.00/bottle

Buy 4 Kellog's Cereal, get $4.00 off purchase. Add this to two dollar off/2 coupons, and you're saving $6.00 bucks on cereal!!

Pop Tarts 3/$5.00

Colgate Toothpaste $1.00/box, with a coupon it will most likely be free!!

Arm & Hammer Dryer sheets $1.00/box

Dairy Deal: purchase 6 products from their list, get $4.00 off purchase. One deal you could do is purchase 6 Pilsbury Cinnamon rolls at 2/$5.00, use two coupons (0.75/off 3--which would be doubled), and get the $4.00 off. You would pay $8.00 for 6 cans of rolls. That would make the normally $2.50 product cost about $1.30!! (But not sure if you want 6 cans of cinnamon rolls laying in your fridge...would be aweful tempting to me!!)

Ollie's
Sunscreen (Banana Boat or Hawaiian Tropic) $2.99!!! This includes the spray kind which is my favorite, and almost essential when you are coating 4 kids!! I hope I am able to stock up on this deal...since these babies go for about $7.99 at Walmart or most anywhere!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Melissa Etheridge Deal of the Day on Amazon

Get the new Melissa Etheridge album as an mp3 download from Amazon for $3.99. It is the deal of the day at http://amazon.com until May 3.

Cheesy Chicken Supreme

Serves 4

4 slices bacon
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (I cut into bite-size pieces for faster cooking)
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 10oz can condensed mushroom soup
1/2 c. milk
1 c. shredded Havarti cheese (I substitute cheddar)
1 6oz pkg couscous ( I substitue rice or orzo)

1. In large skillet, cook bacon until crisp; remove from pan and drain on paper towels. Add chicken to drippings in skillet; cook 2-3 min on each side.
2. Add onion and garlic to skillet; cook and stir for 4-5 min, until crisp-tender. Add soup and milk; stir to blend. Simmer until chicken is throughly cooked. Chill chicken mixture in refrigerator or ice-water bath. (Do not refrigerate if serving immediately. Add bacon and cheese, cover and cook for 4-5 min till cheese is melted)
3. Crumble bacon and place in zipper-lock bag. Place cheese in zipper-lock bag. Place chilled chicken and sauce in zipper-lock bag. Place all bags inside larger bag; label and freeze. Reserve couscous or rice in pantry.
4. To thaw and reheat: Thaw overnight in fridge. Place chicken mixture in skillet and heat for about 10 min, until hot. Add bacon and cheese to skillet; cover and cook on low heat for 5-6 min, until chicken is thoroughly heated. Serve over hot cooked couscous, rice, or orzo).

*from Meals for a Month (Larsen)

Pepper Jack Burgers

*caution: may be too spicy for the kiddos!
makes 4 burgers

1 lb lean ground beef
1 c. shredded pepper jack cheese
1 Tbsp. worchestershire sauce
1 Tbsp. water
2 tsp. grill seasoning (recipe follows)
2 Tbsp. paprika
2 Tbsp. onion powder
2 tsp. cumin
1 Tbsp. sugar
2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. dried oregano
1 Tbsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. red cayenne pepper
*combine all of the above, store in airtight container. Sprinkle on meats or veggies.

1. In a medium bowl, combine beef, pepper jack cheese, worchestshire sauce, seasoning and water. Mix gently. Form into 4 patties. Grill immediately or freeze for later use.

Sticky Chicken

makes about 1 1/2 cups of marinade/sauce

1/2 c. balsamic vinegar
1/2 c. honey
1 c. heinz ketchup
4 cloves garlic, minced (I use a little less)
1 Tbsp. olive oil (I have used vegetable and canola too)
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary ( or 1 tsp. dried)
1 tsp. grated lemon zest (I have substituted lemon juice)
1 tsp. black pepper

1. Place vinegar and honey in a small saucepan set over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil. Simmer for 5 min. Stir in ketchup, garlic, oil, and rosemary: reduce heat to med-low and simmer for 2 min.
2. Stir in lemon zest and pepper. Cool completely (unless using immediately as a sauce).
3. Coat chicken pieces (or chicken breasts) in marinade. Place in ziplock bag and freeze for later use. If using immediately, coat chicken and then grill or bake.
4. To thaw, thaw in bag overnight in fridge. Remove from bag and grill or bake. Delicious!!

*marinade can also keep in fridge for up to 1 week
*recipe from back of Heinz ketchup bottle (originally called Honey-Balsamic Chicken Glaze)

Bacon and Egg Breakfast Empanadas

Makes 8 empanadas, great for on-the-go breakfasts

6oz cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 tsp. dried parsley
3/4 tsp seasoned salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
2/3 c. shredded sharp cheddar cheese
2 Tbsp. butter
5 large eggs, beaten
1 17.3 oz can refrigerated jumbo flaky biscuits
8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 egg white, lightly beaten
1-2 tsp. sesame seeds (opt)

1. Stir together first 4 ingredients in a medium bowl until blended; stir in cheese.
2. Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat; add eggs, and cook, without stirring, until eggs begin to set on bottom. Draw a spatula across bottom of skillet to form large curds. Continue cooking until eggs are slightly thickened but still moist. (Do not stir constantly) Remove from heat, and let cool.
3. Flatten each biscuit into about a 5 inch circle. Spread cream cheese mixture evely over tops of dough circles, leaving 1/2 inch border around edge. Top evenly with scrambled eggs an bacon.
4. Fold dough circles in half over mixture, pinching edges to seal (I crimp with edge of a fork). Place on a greased baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Brush tops evenly with egg white, sprinkle with sesame seeds (if desired).
5. Bake at 375 degrees for 14-16 min, or until golden brown. Remove from baking sheet to wire rack. Serve warm.
6. To freeze: cool completely, flash freeze in single layer on cookie sheet in freezer, seal in a ziplock bag.
7. To reheat: wrap individual empanadas in a paper towel. Microwave at 50% power 1-2 min or until heated through.

*Southern Living, 1/03

Spaghetti Casserole

Serves 8-10

8oz pkg spaghetti
2 eggs
1/4 c. cream (or whole milk)
1 tsp. dried basil
1 lb bulk pork sausage
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 14oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 8oz can tomato sauce
1 6oz can tomato paste
1 cup beef broth
1 tsp Italian seasoning
2 c. shredded colby-jack cheese

1. Cook spaghetti in boiling water. Meanwhile, beat eggs, cream, and basil in large bowl. Drain spaghetti and immediately add to egg mixture. Toss spaghetti with egg mixture until coated. Place in 9x13 baking dish and put in refrigerator. (If serving immediately, do not put in fridge. Go directly to step 2.)
2. In skillet, cook pork with onion and garlic until pork is browned. Drain off excess fat. Add remaining ingredients except for cheese and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 15-20 minto blend flavors. Pour sausage mixture over spaghetti in baking dish. Refrigerate until cold, then wrap, attach bag with colby-jack cheese, label with reheating instructions, and freeze. (If serving immediately, sprinkle with cheese, and bake at 375 degrees for 30-35 min)
3. To thaw and reheat: Thaw casserole overnight in fridge. Preheat oven to 375. Uncover, sprinkle with cheese, and bake 40-50 min, until thoroughly hot and cheese is melted and beginning to brown.


*from Meals for a Month (Larsen)

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Menu 4/26-4/30

I've decided to do something different this week. I'm highlighting some recipes out of my Meals for a Month cookbook. I like to make meals to put away in the freezer for busy nights, and since we are heading into busy sports months, I thought this would be helpful. I'm not sure I'll get to making all of these for this week, but at least you'll have the recipes in case you want to. You could double the recipes, eat half for dinner this week, and save the other half for another busy night. Or you could try to make all the recipes in a weekend for use when needed.

Spaghetti Casserole
Bacon & Egg Empanadas
Sticky Chicken (for bone-in or boneless)
Pepper Jack Burgers (our favorite for cookouts!!)
Chicken Supreme

I'll be posting the recipes very soon!

A few good deals for this week

Found a few good bargains to pass on for this week:

$5.00 http://tasteofhome.com cookbooks are back. Use them for yourself or gifts. Free shipping on orders over $20 with code at checkout (LST02)

Walmart (hopefully in this area) is offering 24 pack sodas for $5.00! Stock up for the cookouts and family reunions this summer.

Money maker at Walgreens this week. Buy 8 Hallmark cards, get $5.00 RR for next purchase. The $0.49 cards should be included in this deal 8x 0.49=$3.92-$5.00 RR=$1.08+++money maker!! I can always use the children's cards for birthdays!

Tomorrow (Wed 4/28) is $0.31 cent scoop night at Baskin-Robbins!! This is a fundraiser for local firefighters. 5-10pm

Thursday, April 22, 2010

tablespoon.com

Thank you Sarah for showing me http://tablespoon.com ! It's a really great site. For anyone looking for quickie recipes, using normal ingredients, you should check it out. May end up using some of them in my menues.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

This week's menu

Menu 4/19-4/26

Mon: Breakfast Burritos. Giant sliced bacon is $2.99, Brown and Serve Sausage is 10/$10, and Giant Cheese is $1.89/pkg!! at Giant/Martin's. Mission Tortillas are $1.99, but I suspect you can find some cheaper at Walmart. If you just want breakfast sandwiches, English Muffins are BOGO this week ($3.39 for 2!!--Walmart sells them for $2.00/pkg).

Tue: Pizza Burgers. Snag some of the Giant Cheese at $1.89 and Ground Beef 85/15 at $2.69/lb at Giant/Martin's

Wed: We're eating at the church! Clean out your pantry/freezer night.

Thur: Chicken on the grill. Either use up some breasts from the freezer or check out Giant Chicken Thighs/Drumsticks (The ad says any size pkg) 10/$10!! We'll have to go shopping to see how "big" these packages are...but still sounds like a good deal, as long as they are at least 1 lb pkgs! Make some extra for tomorrow night's supper.

Fri: Chicken Ceasar Salads. Use the leftover chicken from last night with a Dole Salad Kit. They are BOGO at Martin's ($3.69 for 2 bags).

Sat: Hoagies. Homemade or storebought. Giant Deli Meat is 2/$6.00 (7-9 oz pkg). And, just in case you didn't pick up any of the chip deals last week, Herr's Chips, pretzels, or tortilla chips are 3/$6.00. You could also pick up Snyder's Prezels on BOGO ($3.49 for 2) or generic Krunchers Chips for $1.00/bag.

Sun: Leftovers.

Mon: English Muffin Pizzas. Since you will most likely have pizza sauce and cheese left over from Tue's meal, this is a good lead into next week. Don't forget to get the English Muffins on BOGO at Martin's.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Saturday Shopping

If you're heading out today, there is still time to snag a few bargains before the sales change tomorrow. Ideally, I would have liked to have had this out earlier in the week, but it is what it is (my new mantra)!

Weis Market
General Mills Cereal 2/$5.00...almost positive there is a coupon for this, but couldn't find it before writing this
Arm & Hammer Laundry Detergent is BOGO at $4.69-$1 MF Coupon= $3.69 for two!!

CVS
Puffs $0.99 (I believe there is a $1.00/6 coupon is last weeks coupons)
Dove Shampoo or conditioner $4.49-$4.49 EC (rebate)=FREE!!
27 oz family bag M&M's $5.99 (Aren't these usually around $7.00 at Walmart??)
Purex Complete 20ct. BOGO (I've heard these work pretty well)
Guitar Hero for Wii $29.99!! These were running around $50.00 at Christmas time!
Colgate Pro Clinical $3.99-$2.00 EC=$1.99-$1.00 MFC=$0.99!

Target
Special K Cereal $2.39 Buy 5 boxes, get a $5.00 gift card= $1.39/box

Rite Aid
Always Pads $6.99-$2.00 SCR (rebate by mail)-$1.00 MFC=$3.99
Puffs $0.99
Secret or Old Spice Deodorant 2/$5.00-$2.00 SCR-$1.00 MFC= 2/$2.00 $1.00 each!!!

Martins
Lots of BOGO deals this week : Utz Potato Chips ($3.99 for 2), Perdue Chicken Breasts, Pork Tenderloin, Giant Brand Oatmeal ($2.99 for 2), Martin's Potato Chips ($3.79 for 2), Aunt Jemima Pancakes ($2.99 for 2), Pepperidge Farm Swirl Bread ($3.69 for 2), Select GM Cereals (2/$5.00), Herr's Potato Chips ($4.99 for 2), Sargento Cheese (2/$4.00).

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

New Menu 4/12-4/18

After deleting about 100 messages from my inbox this morning, mopping the foyer (again) to rid the floor of doggie pee (the never ending battle), and digging to the bottom of my desk pile, I found my calendar and realized I didn't post the menu for this week. Geez! It's hard getting organized! Here it is, and yes, I realize we can't live last night (Thank God!), so put Monday's meal somewhere else in your week.

Mon 4/12: Spaghetti. All spaghetti ingredients on sale at Martin's this week

Tue 4/13: Pork BBQ (crockpot). Pork tenderloin and Pork Roast on sale at Martin's for BOGO
this week. BBQ sauce on sale for $1.00 and Maier's rolls are BOGO at Martin's also.

Wed 4/14: French Toast Casserole. Will have to look on myrecipes.com to find the recipe. Hopefully I will remember to post it this time! Pepperidge Farm Swirl Bread is BOGO this week at Martin's (makes it $1.84/loaf!!). This is yummy bread in the casserole!

Thur 4/15: Leftovers (or perhaps the spaghetti from Mon!)

Fri 4/16: White Chicken Chili. You can make this homemade from a recipe, but I prefer the McCormac Seasoning Packets. I will caution you, a whole pack of seasoning makes it pretty spicy. I usually just use a half pack so that the kids will eat it better.

Sat 4/17: Toasted Cheese Sandwiches. Serve with leftover chili.

Sun 4/18: Baked Potato Bar. 5lb bag of potatoes is $2.99 at Martin's, but may be able to get them cheaper at Aldi's or Save-a-lot. I bought a 10lb bag at Aldi's for $2.50 over Easter week (not sure if this was a special or normal price). Steam-ready veggies are $1.00/bag at Martin's if you want to serve broccoli & cheese on top of your potatoes.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Menu 4/5-4/11

Happy Easter!! He is Risen!

Menu for next week: I haven't looked at a sales flyer in two weeks, so feel free to substitute cheaper meals when you find them. Most of these items I have on hand. I will only have to pick up some chicken (hopefully I will find some on sale somewhere!).

Mon 4/5: Potato, Ham, and Broccoli Casserole. Use up those Easter leftovers (hopefully you're not too tired of ham yet). This is a Paula Dean Recipe so it should be good (I have not tried it yet). I guess if you have broccoli-haters, you could omit that and just serve the casserole with whatever veggie side you like.

Tues 4/6: Meatloaf. Make one big loaf or several mini-loaves. I'll share the recipe we like to use.

Wed 4/7: Leftovers. You could use your leftover meatloaf in an open face sandwich with gravy or you might still have Easter leftovers.

Thur 4/8: Sticky Chicky. (Marinated chicken drums and thighs).

Fri 4/9: Homemade Pizza. I have a recipe that rocks!! (Thanks to my relative Jodi)

Sat 4/10: Roast Beef. I still have one in the freezer from a BOGO deal a few weeks ago. Should be enough for some leftovers for Sunday's meal.

Sun 4/11: Beef and Noodles. Use the leftover roast beef from last night for this meal.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Raid the Pantry Week

Yes, I know I did not post a menu for this week, and yes, I know, it's taken a while to come around to this confession. But, in my defense, it's been a hard week with teething and fevers and head colds. So I figured that, like all other well-planned out things, "stuff" is bound to happen. There have been several nights since I have started planning out my meals that, for some reason or another, we haven't eaten the "planned" meal. Either I didn't "feel" like that meal that night, or we were invited to in-laws houses to eat, or whatever...but there have been a few meals that I have bought the stuff for and never made. So I have deemed this week "Raid the Pantry Week". Time to clean out the freezer and pantry! There is no savings in buying new things, just because I have a "new menu", especially when the pantry is full! So my best savings tip this week is to go through the old menues from this site, or your old menues, and use up that stuff!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Really good clearance deals on local gift certificates

If you're looking for a bargain on some local hot spots, I just found some at http://myhometownhalfoff.com. This site sells gift certificates half-price for local restaurants and stores (they change weekly, I believe). It looks like if the gift certificates don't sell at the half-price amount, they reduce it EVEN MORE! I found a few that might be of interest to you locals. There are exclusions and they do expire. The website gives all the details.
FIRSTLOOK PHOTO: One $50.00 gift certificate will cost you $12.50. It expires 6-15-10. Think of this as a way to make your own sale, especially if you're in the market for a new camera. You do not get change from the gift certificate, so you might want to make sure your purchase is $50 or more. You would also be able to get $50 of film processing pretty cheap as well.
BREAKAWAY SPORTS LOUNGE (Waynesboro location only): You get 2 $25 gift certificates for $12.50. They expire in Aug. and can be used on food only (not alcohol). And you can only use one certificate at a time (one per visit). But for a cheap date night, this will amount to $25 worth of dinner for $6.25!!
HAGERSTOWN SPEEDWAY: I have never been here, so I don't know what kind of racing goes on. One $50 gift certificate will cost you $12.50 and it expires 7-22-10.
PHOTOGEM (Greencastle): You get 5 $10 gift certificates for $12.50. They have to be used one at a time. They do offer photo processing.

If you can use these, they will certainly save you some money. You could also give them as gifts, as long as you let the receiver know that there are exclusions.

Flylady, I love you!

I am really getting into the cleaning routines posted on the flylady's website, http://flylady.net. This site has really helped me get organized and motivated. I want to encourage all of you to check it out, especially if you are finding it hard to establish your own routines. I've been getting her emails since January, and, although my house is still not as clean as my mother-in-law's or my sister-in-laws ( I don't know how she does it!!), I feel like I am chipping away at it! The daily emails are motivating and keep me on track. The flylady has broken down our homes into 4 zones. She focuses on one zone each week, so as not to overwhelm us. She also sets monthly goals for you. Just today, I finally discovered some routines on her site that I'm going to post somewhere in my house to keep me on track, without forgetting anything (just in case I forget to check my email for a few days). I wanted to pass this on to you guys, but I still hope you'll check out her site (it is free to sign up and receive her emails).

The Flylady Routine
Monday:
*Do one load of laundry
*Spend 15 min. in the current zone (she gives you these in the emails and on her homepage)
*Complete your weekly "blessing hour" (these are a quick list of chores to do in 10 increments. She says to complete them in one fell swoop or break them down into one or two a day). I'll list the chores at the end of this.
Tuesday:
*Do one load of laundry
*Spend 15 min. in the current zone
*Water plants
Wednesday:
*Do one load of laundry
*Do the "deep cleaning" chores for that week's zone
*Menu planning, grocery lists
*Checkbook maintenence, pay bills
Thursday:
*Do one load of laundry
*Spend 15 min. in the current zone
*Grocery shopping and errands
Friday:
*Do one load of laundry
*Spend 15 min. in the current zone
*Filing
Saturday:
*family time!!
Sunday:
*Rest time

The weekly blessing hour: (to be done at once or broken down over the week)
This is supposed to be quicky cleaning, since you spend more serious time in each zone of the house once a month. This is not supposed to be stressful! She suggests setting a timer for 10 min., and when it goes off, move to the next thing. Whatever you get done, is what you get done. Some people like to do this complete list more often than once a week (her site says some may prefer to do it Monday to recover from the weekend and Friday to get ready for the weekend.) Whatever works for you!
*Vacuum in the general walking areas (she says not to move furniture!)
*Dust
*Quick mop (probably just main areas of kitchen, especially under table and around cooking areas...remember, you do deep cleaning later)
*Clean mirrors
*Get rid of old magazines, catalogs, or junk mail
*Change Sheets
*Empty Trashcans

Yes, I know there are seven things here, so I guess pick one to delete if it's not important to you, or take a little longer than an hour.

Hope this helps someone...I hope I'm not the only one struggling with getting it all done!

A few deals and a cool website

Here are two new deals that I found in my inbox this afternoon:
1. Walmart is selling a trial kit (not sure of the price) of the new Pampers Cruisers and Swaddlers diapers. The trial kit includes diapers, wipes, and a cute diaper pouch. Looks like a neat thing for the diaper bag. I'm hoping the price makes it worth it.

2. Here's a new code for a "rent one, get one free" movie from the Blockbuster kiosks. GN13B4
These little movie rental kiosks are popping up everywhere around Waynesboro, Chambersburg, and Shippensburg. Like Redbox, they are only $1/per night and they can be returned to any Blockbuster kiosk (which are at almost every Sheetz store in Chambersburg, and a few Rutters). The locations are on their website http://blockbusterexpress.com. This code doesn't expire until 3/29, so it looks like we'll be getting 2 movies for a $1 this weekend!

I wanted to also pass along a cool website that my mom found. It looks like it could be very helpful to getting us all a little more organized. Its called http://cozi.com. It has online calendars for you to use, which can be broken down into each family member and viewed on your cell phone. It's got a lot of other organizational tools, too, but I haven't finished checking it out. Oh, and it's free for the downloads!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Menu 3/20-3/26

Ok, so I'm REALLY not getting any faster at this...my week just seems so crazy, plus it's tax season! (I help my mom do taxes, so this takes up most of my free time after the kids are in bed). But, I am proud of myself for keeping this gig up for this long. And I do feel more organized, even if it's just in the meal department. Hey, the flylady (flylady.net), says to take one day at a time, and that as long as we're doing SOMETHING we are never really behind. I like that way of thinking!! It keeps me motivated, even when I only accomplish one small task every couple of hours (or one a day!!). So, for now, I am focused on the meal thing, and reducing my grocery bill. So far so good for this month, although, I really should only spend $60-70 more dollars this week! And at least $10 of that is already going to pull-ups! So I tried to keep it pretty cheap this week.

3/20 Meatball Subs, macaroni and cheese. Meatballs are $3.99/bag at Martins plus BuyOneGetOne free! Use the extra bag of meatballs for Monday's meal. A box of macaroni and cheese is less than a dollar. If you make your own, pasta is on sale for $1.00/box at Martin's. Cost: $5.00/4-6 serv.

3/21 Pigs in a Blanket, baked beans. Not the healthiest of meals, but pretty cheap. Hatfield Hotdogs are BOGO this week at Martin's ($2.99/pack). There are tons of coupons floating around in current and old coupon flyers for pillsbury cresent rolls (although the cheap ones are usually cheaper, even without the coupon). A can of baked beans is usually around $1.50, but I have tons of beans in my cabinet (don't ask me why), so I will probably bake my own. Cost: $4.50/4-6 serv.

3/22 Spaghetti. Barilla pasta is $1.00/box again this week at Martin's. Several spaghetti sauces are on sale as well. Garlic toast (if you want to splurge) is $1.99 at Martin's, but the generic Texas Toast is usually around $1.69/box at Walmart. We have extra bread (from a BOGO promo last week) so, I'll be making my own garlic toast. Round out the meal with salad: generic brands are $1.00 or less at Aldi's and Save-a-lot or BOGO at Martin's (at $3.69/bag). You could also make garlic bread from the extra package of cresent rolls (most likely, if you use a coupon, you had to buy 2 containers of rolls). Don't forget to use your extra meatballs from Saturday's meal. Cost: varies from the cheap end $3.00/6 serv to $5.00/6 serv.

3/23 Chicken and Spinach Pierogies. Probably the most expensive meal this week, but I was thinking that you wouldn't have to use much meat (think of it more as a side). Fresh spinach (tastes best) is $0.99/bag with coupon in flyer at Martin's. Not sure of pierogi cost, but I think around $2.50/box. May need two boxes for larger families. I will probably use about two cut-up chicken breasts for this recipe. Use more or less, depending on your taste. Cost: approx. $5.50/4 serv. (this assumes you will have the other staples on hand).

3/24 Leftovers. We always have leftover spaghetti! But if not, I'm sure there will be something in the fridge or the freezer to pull out.

3/25 Beefy Bean Burritos. Refried beans are always cheap! I think the generic at Walmart is $0.50. Hamburger (if not already in your freezer), can usually be found for $1.99-$2.50/lb in bulk packs. I never buy hamburger from Walmart...it always seems to be the most expensive place for it! Didn't see any sales on salsa, but a generic brand usually comes in at under $2.00. I haven't bought it in so long, since I'm still using my homemade canned salsa. Cheddar cheese is on sale for $2.00/bag at Martins, and I think there is a Sargento coupon floating around in my coupons. But generic cheese may be cheaper, will have to look! Mission Tortillas are on sale for $2.50 at Martins, but I think that Walmart has similar prices, maybe even a few cents cheaper.
Cost: around $9.00/4-6 serv if you don't have anything on hand. (wow, didn't think these would be this expensive until I added it all up!)

3/26 Homemade Chicken Tenders. I will be just dipping cut-up chicken breasts in egg and flour/breadcrumbs and baking them. I could only find a chicken sale at Target (I think $6/bag, not sure for how many pounds). I'll be using chicken from my stocked up freezer. We will probably do potatoes or french fries for a side. Aside from sale prices, Walmart generally has the cheapest regular price on potatoes (although I haven't checked out Aldi's prices on potatoes). Martin's has french fries on sale 2/$5.00, and with a coupon from their flyer, you will get FREE Ore-Ida Steam-n-Mash Frozen Potatoes (with purchase of 2 Ore-Ida french fries). Target has small bags of Steamable Veggies on clearance for less than a dollar. Cost: $8/4-6 serv (this is if you use the entire bag of chicken from Target, but most likely you won't have to use that much!)

Total cost: approx. $37 dollars!! Yeah!! Under budget, and with leftovers to spare! Of course, I will still have to buy snacks for my kids at school, diapers/pull-ups, and a few other things (umm, ice-cream?) that somehow sneak into my cart!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Price tag for this week's meal

Just out of curiousity, I added up the basic grocery list for this weeks meals. I was happily surprised that it added up to (roughly) $48.44!! And this price includes the extra casserole that is going in the freezer for later! I didn't add in staples that most people keep on hand (like spices), but I did add in a veggie side and potato side to go along with the roast chicken meal! Most of the meals are 6 serv (or more), so that brings each serving of a meal down to about $1.20! Wow, much better than a happy meal!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Menu 3/13-3/19

Here are my suggestions for meals this week, using the sales from Giant/Martins. There seems to be a lot of good bargains this week, so hopefully we can stay within our food budget!

3/13 BLT sandwiches, pasta salad. Bacon is BOGO this week. We'll use both packages for two different nights this week. A box of pasta salad (we like Suddenly Salad) usually runs about $1.50/box, but it might be cheaper at Walmart.

3/14 Roasted Chicken in the crockpot. Didn't see a specific deal on whole chickens, but they are usually pretty cheap, and can be used for two recipes this week. This one is done in the crockpot, so you can put it in there and go outside and enjoy the weather for the rest of the day!

3/15 Chili Corn Dog Casserole. If you like chili dogs or corndogs, you'll like this easy casserole. I've made it several times, and we all really like it. Hot dogs are also BOGO this week. Kraft shredded Cheese is 2/$4.00 with the coupon from the sales flyer. Boxes of cornbread mix are usually less than a dollar.

3/16 Chicken Comfort Soup. This is a yummy recipe from our church cookbook. You can use the leftover chicken from Sunday's dinner, or use canned chicken (on sale for 2/$5.00).

3/17 Leftovers.

3/18 Taco Stuffed Shells. Another Taste of Home recipe that we love!! The kids gobble this down, plus it makes enough for 2 casseroles (one to eat, one to freeze!). Cream cheese is $1/box, shredded cheese is 2/$4.oo with flyer coupon, and there is also a flyer coupon for free salsa with purchase of two bags of tortilla chips. You will need all of these for the recipe.

3/19 Breakfast for Supper. Need to do some recipe research, but we will probably do a stuffed french toast casserole and serve it with the bacon from this weeks BOGO sale.

I will try to get all the recipes posted earlier this week! Sorry I keep falling behind!

Free music downloads for the kiddos!

This is so cool! I checked this out today because Mary loves "her" music for in the car. I'm getting a little tired of the same old CDs, so when I heard about this site, I wanted to give it a try! If you go to http://sproutonline.com , and click on the music and video tab, you will be directed to a spot with LOTS of free downloads. Some of the songs are really short, but they were all really cute. I'm going to download them today and buy some CDs to put them on. There were a lot of other fun activities on this site as well.

$3.00 Barbies

Superstar Barbies are $3.00 this week at both Toys R Us and Kmart. Toys R Us has a limit of one per customer, but Kmart doesn't appear to.

There are also lots of toy coupons on the Hasbro site. Might be able to use some of them on travel size games for a pretty good price. I know Target sells a lot of travel games.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Menu 3/6-3/12

Wow! What a weekend! With everyone in the house either "throwin" or "goin" (as Shane's dad says), who could even think about cooking or menu planning, or even buying a Sunday Paper! So, with not much knowledge about what's on sale, I just had to put a menu together with things are generally cheap to make, with what one probably already has in the freezer or pantry. Regardless of what you make, eating in is always cheaper than eating out!

3/6 Spanish Rice. I did see some sales on canned tomatoes (Giant), although generic brands are usually just as cheap. And my canned tomatoes from last summer are FREE! Ground Beef and rice are also usually on hand or cheap. I do believe that ground SIRLOIN is actually on sale at Giant for $1.99/lb. Wow, cheaper than ground beef and a better cut! You can eat the rice alone, or put it in a soft tortilla. The tortillas are usually under $2/pack at Walmart.

3/7 Ham Primavera. I'm using my extra ham steak that I picked up a few weeks ago on a BOGO special.

3/8 Italian Chicken Roll-ups. This is a new recipe for me, but it looks pretty good. Not sure if there are any good chicken sales going on for skinless breasts (which you'll need for this recipe), but did see that chicken leg quarters (good for soup and casseroles) are on sale at Weis for $0.59/lb.

3/9 Hamburger Helper. Pick your favorite one or use one from the pantry. With a coupon, (pretty sure there is one still in date) and some hamburger, this is definitely a cheap meal.

3/10 Leftovers. You'll think of something! Could even be one of those boxes of Mac & Cheese sitting in the back of your pantry and a pack of hotdogs out of the freezer!

3/11 Chicken Sesame (crockpot meal). This is also a new recipe, but everything I've tried out of this cookbook, my family seems to love! You'll need more chicken breasts, so make sure you buy a bulk pack in the beginning of the week. The recipe calls for sesame seeds, which I have on hand. If you don't have them on hand, it may not be worth the extra cost for you to purchase them. I seriously doubt they add that much flavor! But if you are gung-ho about getting them, I would highly recommend getting them from a place that sells spices in bulk (like Apple Blossom Dairy, Paul's Market, Bender's, or some other type of Farmer's market/Mennonite food store)

3/12 Hoagies/Subs. These can be homemade or storebought. I know I said eating in is cheaper, and it is!, but sometimes we like to splurge on a good hoagie!

Have a good week. If anyone has found some good sales, please pass them along!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Blockbuster kiosks

Do you guys know anything about the new Blockbuster Kiosks that are starting to pop up? They are similar to the Redbox movie rental kiosks that are now at Walmart, Walgreens, and Giant. I have only seen one at the Rutters in Quincy, but am hoping that more will show up in Chambersburg and Waynesboro. Well, for now, if you can get to the one in Quincy, there are some free movie codes below that will make it worth your trip.

After picking your movie, use the following codes at checkout (before swiping your credit/debit card). You can only use each code once (per credit card).

GW12B4 Rent one movie, get one free (Exp. tonight!!)
GOLIVE Rent one movie for FREE for one night (Exp. 3/3)
GE12B Rent one movie for FREE for one night (Exp. 3/8)
GT21A Rent one movie for FREE for one night (Exp. 3/12)
GL9RA Rent one movie for FREE for one night (Exp. 3/31)
POPCORN Rent one movie, get one free (Exp. unknown)

Since some of these codes expire in the middle of the week, my suggestion would be to rent two movies at once (maybe one for the kids and one for the parents), using two different codes. You will have to check out twice to use two different codes. Maybe have some kids over for a movie date with the kids! I know my kids will be excited to get a movie treat in the middle of the week (since we usually save them for the weekends!)

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Menu 2/27-3/5

Well, even though our dog ate my original menu, I think I've remembered everything that I was thinking of for this coming week. I reviewed the sales flyers again, and again most of the sales are at Giant. Weis seems to be coming up short these days.

2/27 "Souper Saturday" Italian Meatball Soup. This calls for crushed tomatoes ($1.00/can at Giant), shell pasta (you should be stocked up since there have been pasta sales the last two weeks at Giant), and meatballs (I'll be making my own, but storebought could be substituted for a quicker meal).
2/28 Pork Chops. There are several "bone-in" specials at Giant this week, including BOGO on large family packs. We prefer boneless, but I'm still looking for a better sale on those. We'll just be preparing them "shake-n-bake" style.
3/1 Easy Chicken Parmesan. "Fast Fixin" brand of chicken strips on sale at Giant for $5.99. But I've also noticed that the Giant "Guaranteed Value" brand is $4.99 for chicken patties. We've tried this brand, and actually prefer it to the more expensive brands. Hunt's spaghetti sauce is $1.00/can and Giant brand Shredded Cheese is 4/$6.00 (must buy 4). Pretty cheap meal, especially since you won't need the whole bag of chicken strips or patties.
3/2 Hamburger Skillet. I believe ground chuck is on sale at Henicle's Market ($2.14/lb). Red potatoes are on sale at Giant ($3.49/5lb), but you can most likely get white potatoes cheaper at Henicles, Save-a-Lot, or Aldi's. Again, the cheese is on sale at Giant (4/$6.00).
3/3 Pancakes with sausage or bacon. I'll be making them from scratch, although I believe Giant did have mixes on sale (unsure of price). Bacon is BOGO at Giant ($4.99/pack) but if you want an even cheaper meat alternative, the Brown and Serve sausages are always $0.98/box at Walmart (that's half priced compared to Giant's regular price!).
3/4 Leftovers
3/5 Hot Turkey Sandwiches with fries. Not sure if there is any good turkey on sale, but we like the store-roasted turkey from Butcher Shoppe. Seems the closest to "real" turkey leftovers, instead of just lunch meat. For a cheaper option, you could use the Banquet Turkey slices in the frozen dinner section.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Bargains Galore!

Got to check in on some of my favorite sites today, and found a load of bargains to pass on to my friends.

Walgreens Free 8x10 print
*print a coupon out from their site (walgreens.com) for a free 8x10 print. Coupon is only good through tomorrow (Thursday).

Toys R Us --Nearly free game
*Looking for a cheap birthday gift, or looking ahead to Christmas...here is a bargain! Toys R Us has the Pictureka Flipper game on sale for $6.98 (not sure of the regular price). With the $5.00 coupon from http://playsaver.com or http://coupon.com, the game becomes $1.98!!!

Taste of Home--$5.00 Cookbook Clearance
*Yet another "think ahead" gift (hostess, Christmas, birthday, etc.). Go to their site, http://shoptasteofhome.com to see the pretty big selection of $5.00 cookbooks. Some are regularly $24.99! To make the deal even better, here are some additional codes that you can use at checkout if you are thinking of making a larger purchase:
LST02 (free shipping on orders over $20.00)
LST16 (free shipping + 10% off orders over $40.00)
LST 18 (15% off orders over $25, 20% off orders over $35, and 25% off orders over $45).

Huggies Wipes Deal at CVS
*I haven't tried this yet, but apparently Huggies Wipes refills (reg. $7.99) are ringing up $2.50 at CVS. With a coupon, this will be a VERY sweet deal! I'd recommend a price check first. If someone verifies this, please let me know.

Free Smucker's Classic Cookie Recipe Book
*Looks like you need only send a postcard to the following address to request your free recipe book. Sounds like a sweet deal (no pun intended) :)
The J.M. Smucker Company
Attention: Classic Cookie Recipe Collection
Consumer Relations Dept.
P.O. Box 280
Orville, OH 44667

new menu mishap

Next week's menu is on it's way...had it all ready to type last night and woke up this morning to see that the dog decided to eat it, along with one of the kid's books!!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

New Menu 2/20-2/26

Here's the new menu for next week. I've changed the layout of the blog to make it look a little neater, so now you will find the recipes under the recipe tab on the right side of the page. There weren't any "big" sales that jumped out to me this week. If you found any, please share!

2/20 "Souper Saturday": Ham and Bean Soup. Ham Shanks are on sale at the Butcher Shoppe for $1.79/lb
2/21 Steamers (aka Sloppy Joes). Bulk packs of ground beef seem to always be $1.99/lb at Giant. May want to make extra steamers for leftover night, turning it into chili dogs.
2/22 "Happy Birthday, Mary Elise". Make some spaghetti, her favorite meal. DelGrosso's Spaghetti sauce is $1.00/jar at Giant, Barilla pasta (any shape) is $1.00/box at Giant, and salad mix is $0.99/bag (generic) or BOGO (Dole brand) at Giant. Gee, Mary, you're a cheap date!
2/23 Cheesy Chicken Hashbrown Casserole. Can used cooked chicken breast, canned chicken, or leg/thigh meat cooked off the bone (cheapest version).
2/24 Roast Beef, mashed potatoes & gravy. Boneless Chuck Roasts are BOGO at Giant this week. I already checked these out, since sometimes they aren't really a good deal. It seems most of the packages were pretty big roasts costing $10-$12/pkg. But since one is free, it's like getting a roast for $5-$6. Not too bad (around $2.50/lb). And since the roasts are pretty big, it will make extra for leftovers or you could cut the roast in half and freeze some for later.
2/25 Leftovers: plenty of options this week!
2/26 Ham Steaks, fried potatoes. Ham Steaks are also BOGO this week at Giant. I had trouble finding them on my first trip to Giant, so I hope that when I go back they will be better labeled. If not, I might be making leftovers again!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Rite Aid FAQ’s

Rite Aid FAQ’s

Thought I would link this info about how to best use the rebate system at Rite Aid, in case any of you are new to it. I've been using it for awhile, and really see a lot of savings from it. I went to Rite Aid tonight and (after coupons and rebates) purchased 4 Nivea lip balms, a pack of Pampers, and a big bottle of Nivea body lotion for $5.00 + tax!!! The Nivea lotion alone (when not on sale) is $7.99! SWEET! I'll try to post any good combos that I see.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

New Menu 2/13- 2/19

(S) Vegetable Soup: Saturday feels like a good day to have a big pot of soup going. Plus, roasts and stew meat are on sale at Giant this week.
(Su) Valentine's Day: Make something special for your sweetie...or if you're really lucky, go out!
(M) Pepperoni Chicken: Chicken is on sale at Giant $1.89/lb! Cheapest I've seen in awhile! Pepperoni is $2.62 + 0.55 coupon (on the package) at Walmart. Plus, Walmart's generic pizza sauce is awesome!
(T) Ham Loaf: using the ham loaf mixture that I bought on sale a couple of weeks ago. If you didn't get the ham loaf or don't like it, substitute a meatloaf for tonight's meal.
(W) Grilled Cheese: Just felt like something easy tonight!
(Th) Leftovers: All of us can find at least one meal using leftovers in the fridge or with stuff that's been hiding in the pantry.
(F) Steak-Um Sandwiches and Tater Tots

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Free 6 month subscription to Thriving Family

Go to http://focusonthefamily.com to receive a free 6 month subscription to "Thriving Family" magazine, a publication of Focus on the Family. It contains family/parenting tips surrounding the Christian life. There is a banner at the bottom of the home page that you have to click on and fill out your info.
Thanks, Becky M. for the tip!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Free Coldplay Album Download

Free Coldplay Album Download
Go here, http://www.coldplay.com/lrlrl/lr.html enter your email address, and get a free download of Coldplay's album "LeftRightLeftRightLeft". Very easy way to score some free music! There is a box you can uncheck if you do not want to receive emails from them.

Cute Valentine's crafts

Familyfun.com has some really cute Valentine's crafts and printables for your kiddos while they are stuck inside this weekend...that is, if you can pull them away from sledding!

cheap pizzas at Walmart

Walmart is running a special on DiGiorno Frozen Pizzas...$3.98. Look for the $1.00 coupon in last Sunday's paper and get a pizza for $2.98!! Better than take-out for sure!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

new menu 2/6-2/12

With a house full of sick kids, it's been difficult to get a menu and recipes together for you all. But here's what I've come up with.

Here's the new menu for this week, starting Sat. 2/6. There are a lot of Mexican type items on sale this week at all of the stores (I guess for Super Bowl Sunday), so stock up if you like Mexican food. Also got a tip that Kline's Grocery has pork tenderloin on sale (could probably ask the butcher to cut it into chops for you).

Basic Menu (recipes to follow):

(S) Mexican Pizza

(Su) Baked Potato Bar with favorite toppings

(M) Honey BBQ Chicken Tenders

(T) Brown Gravy Patties

(W) Breakfast Hash

(Th) Lasagne Roll-ups
(F) Chicken Patties and Fries

Sat 2/6: Mexican Pizza. The number of pizza's you need will depend on your family size (obviously :>). My recipe says two pizzas serves 8 people. This recipe is from my "Meals for a Month" cookbook. It freezes very well, so since this is Saturday, you may have some extra time to make a few extra to keep in the freezer for an easy weeknight meal.

  1. Roll out 2 refrigerated pizza crusts (these are on sale this week at Giant, with coupons in Sunday paper, as well). Prebake at 400 degrees for 8 min. or until lightly browned. Set aside.

  2. Brown 2 lbs. ground beef (I have used less, so whatever you like) with 1 small chopped onion and 2 cloves minced garlic. Drain well. Add 1 (16 oz) can refried beans (also on sale this week at Giant), 1 (6 oz) can of tomato paste, 1/3 c. water, 12 oz jar of salsa (on sale everywhere), and 4 oz can of green chilies (I don't use these...too hot for us). Stir to combine. Simmer, uncovered, for 10 min. to blend flavors.
  3. Divide sauce among pizzas and spread evenly over each crust. Top with cheese blend (3 c. shredded mozzarella and 2 c. shredded cheddar mixed together).

  4. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 min. or until crusts are done.

*Note: If you're freezing more for later: follow instructions till step 3, but do not top with cheese. Put the cheese in a separate ziplock bag. Chill the pizzas, flash freeze, wrap and label with reheating instructions. To reheat: Bake the frozen pizzas at 400 for 12-18 min, sprinkle with cheeses and bake 10-15 min longer till cheese bubbles and begins to brown.

Sun 2/7: I won't be cooking much, but I figured a Baked Potato Bar would be easy enough to feed the gang while watching the big game. Bake the potatoes at 350 degrees till fork-tender. Top with broccoli/cheese/ham or chili/cheese/sour cream. If you bake too many potatoes, save them for tomorrow night's supper as a side dish.


Mon 2/8: Honey BBQ Chicken Tenders (crock pot recipe).

  1. Spray inside of slow cooker with cooking spray. Arrange 2 lb. of cut-up chicken breasts or chicken tenders in slow cooker.

  2. Combine 1 1/2 c. BBQ sauce, 1/4 c. honey, 2 tsp. mustard, and 1 1/2 tsp. worcestershire sauce in a separate bowl. Pour mixture over chicken.

  3. Cover and cook on low heat 4-5 hours or high heat for 2-2 1/2 hours. Could be baked as well for a quicker meal.

* If you make extra, this would be good to save for later for a chicken BBQ pizza. (Can you tell we love pizza?)


Tues 2/9: Brown Gravy Patties, mashed potatoes, corn...yum, comfort food!

  1. Mix 1 lb ground beef with 1 egg, salt and pepper, chopped onion, and some bread crumbs (a basic meatloaf recipe).

  2. Shape the meat mixture into small hamburger patties.

  3. Brown on both sides in a large frying pan.

  4. Mix 2 envelopes of brown gravy mix with water (follow directions on pkg). Add to frying pan, reduce heat, and simmer until patties are cooked through and gravy is thickened.

Wed 2/10: Breakfast Hash This is just my own creation of whatever we have on hand. You can change it to include/omit whatever you want.

  1. 3-4 large potatoes, shredded or 1 bag of hashbrowns. Brown with a small amount of oil in a large frying pan.

  2. Add 1 c. chopped onions, 1/4 c. diced green peppers, and 1 c. cubed ham steak to the cooking potatoes.

  3. When hash is nearly cooked to desired "brown" color, add 3 scrambled eggs and 1 c. cheddar cheese. Cook till eggs are set and cheese is melted.

Thur 2/11: Lasagne Roll-ups A faster version for weeknights.

  1. Boil 12 lasagne noodles, drain and set aside. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

  2. In a medium bowl, combine: 2 c. mozzarella cheese, 16 oz. cottage cheese, 1 egg, some parsley flakes and a sprinkle of italian seasoning or basil.

  3. Arrange the lasagne noodles on a flat surface. Spoon a thin layer of cheese mixture onto each noodle. Roll up each noodle (starting from one of the short sides) and secure with a toothpick. Place the rolls side by side in a prepared pan.
  4. Pour prepared pasta sauce (with or without meat) on top of each roll. Sprinkle with 1 c. mozzarella cheese and 1/4 c. parmesan cheese.

Bake 20-25 min, or until cheese filling melts and the top is golden brown. 4-5 servings

Friday 2/12: Chicken Patties and Fries Just a quickie meal from the freezer.