Saturday, January 30, 2010

Sloppy Joes

I have to tell you how easy this was. I needed something quick to prepare that could simmer in the crock and be ready when we came home starving so that we could eat. I was at the store and thought, "I'll make Sloppy Joes!" So I veered the cart and headed over to the aisle where the Manwich was. It was even on sale. Then I started to think that I didn't need to pay extra money when I already had the ingredients for this at home. Here is what I did:

I took some ground beef out of the freezer that I had already browned off before freezing. That went into the crockpot frozen.

I squirted enough ketchup to cover the ground beef, kind of. Use less if you want, the crockpot will cause the liquids to be more.

I added a half of a diced onion, I even par cooked it in the micro first

I added some dry mustard, I couldn't find any yellow mustard in the fridge and I was in a hurry. But I think that I now like the dry mustard in it better.

I added some worcestershire sauce

I added some brown sugar

I added some garlic salt

I added some salt

I put the lid on and left it on low for 2 hrs. Stirred it, tasted it, adjusted the taste with more of the above ingredients if needed, then served with toasted hamburger buns and potato chips. Easy peezy.

Friday, January 29, 2010

White Chicken Chili

Canned beans are cheap this week.

White Chicken Chili

4 cans of white beans, drained
2 cans of white corn, drained
3 C. chicken broth
2 cans diced green chilis
2 chicken bouillon cubes
2 medium onions, chopped
1 Tablespoon garlic powder
1 Tablespoon oregano
1 Tablespoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon Cayenne
4 C. cooked chicken breast
One 24 oz. sour cream

Combine broth and cubes. Add all spices. Simmer broth for a few minutes. Add green chilis, corn, chicken, beans and onions. Cook 15 minutes. Add sour cream and stir for about 5 minutes.

Menu for what's on sale for the week of Jan. 27 to Feb. 2

Great sale week. Especially great if you have a slew of selected coupons to use. They will make guacamole and salsa free and pasta bowls cheap and Rotel tomatoes free this week, and chili .29 this week. I love cheap. I love free. will help you figure out the best deals this week, as will or . The latter two match up coupons with deals for you and tell you where to find the coupons if you save all of your Sunday coupon inserts.

Now, onto the menu.


1-Cold Cereal, milk
2-Egg-In-The-Hole, hashbrowns
3-Cold cereal, milk
4-Cold cereal, milk, blueberry muffins, see side bar for recipe
5-Cold cereal, milk
6-French toast
7-Pancakes, see side bar for recipe

1-Tuna sandwich, goldfish crackers
2-PB&J sandwich, cookie
3-Tuna sandwich, apple, cookie
4-Chicken salad sandwich, apple
5-PB&J sandwich, apple
6-Lunchmeat sandwich, soda
7-Pizza, soda

1-Navajo tacos. Fry bread using white bread dough(see recipe under this) with Hormel chili on top. Top with cheese.
2-Fish filets or fish sticks, frozen vegetable of choice, Knorr side dish
3-Chicken Cacciatore using cut chicken 1/4's, canned tomatoes, pepper, onion. Green salad. Bake a few chicken 1/4's plain while making dinner to use for chicken salad sandwiches for lunch tomorrow.
4-Spaghetti Alfredo, frozen vegetable of choice
6-Pork chops, mango salsa, roasted potatoes, broccoli
7-Caesar salad, baked chicken 1/4's

Ice cream

Albertson's brand cereal, 10/$10, buy 3
TJ Farms shredded potatoes, 10/$10, buy 1
Breyers ice cream, $1.99
Red Baron Pizza, 3/$10, buy 1
Romaine lettuce, 10/$10, buy 2
large peppers, $1

Sanderson Farms fryer leg 1/4's, .39 lb., 10 lb. bag, $3.90
Fresh broccoli or cauliflower, .89 lb.
Bumble Bee chunk light tuna, .48
Flav R Pac classic vegetables, 5/$5, buy 2
Ragu Past sauce, or Alfredo sauce, $1.69
Smucker's grape jelly or jam 2/$3, buy 1
Jalepenos, I've allowed for $1
Knorr side dishes, $2, buy 1

Buy 10 deal
1-Kraft cheese, $1.49
2-Kraft cheese, $1.49(make one an italian type cheese for the Caesar salad)
3-Hormel chili, .79
4-Hormel chili, .79
5-Hunt's tomatoes, .49
6-Hunt's tomatoes, .49
7-PF Goldfish, .88
8-Keebler fudge shoppe cookies, .99
9-Oscar Mayer deli shaved lunchmeat, $2.49
10-Van de Kamp's fish filets or sticks, $2.99

Milk, I haven't priced it but I've allowed for $2.99/gallon, buy 2
Eggs, I've allowed for $1.50, buy 2 dozen
Fresh blueberries, $1
Fry's pasta, .88
Kroger Value bread, .88, buy 4
Kroger Value peanut butter, $1.47
Big K soda, .83

Sat/Sun. only, 5 lbs. potatoes, .68 each
Boneless Pork Sirloin Chops, $1.69 lb, buy 4 lbs. at $6.76
Tropical mangos, 3/$1, buy 2

Roma tomatoes, .69 lb., buy 2 lbs., $1.38
Jumbo sweet onions, .69 lb.
Apples, .99 lbs, buy 5 lbs. at $4.95

Items not on the grocery list:
baking powder

Other great buys this week:
Boneless beef round steak, $1.57 lb.-Safeway
Boneless skinless chicken breasts, $1.88 lb.-Sprouts
S&W beans, .48-Bashas
Daisy sour cream, $1.99-Bashas
Bar S meat franks, 10/$10-Albertsons
Albertsons hot dog or Hamburger buns, 10/$10-Albertsons
Albertsons Pasta sauce, 10/$10-Albertsons
Wholly Guacamole or salsa, $1.00-Fry's
Beef Chuck Roast, buy 1, get 1 free, these run $12-$16 per roast-Fry's
Ro-tel tomatoes, .49-Fry's when you buy 10
Zesta saltines, .99-Fry's wyb10
Mott's apple juice, $1.49-Fry's wyb10
Kraft mayonnaise, $1.99-Fry's wyb10
Chex Mix, $1.49-Fry's wyb10
Herdez salsa, $1.49-Fry's wyb10
Mission tortillas, $1.49-Fry's wyb10
Hormel Chili Masters chili, not sure of the price, maybe free with coup-Fry's

Thursday, January 28, 2010

White bread

You need a basic white bread dough recipe in your bag of tricks if you are a from scratch cook. You just do. But, I suppose you can use wheat bread dough for anything we would make from white bread dough. You can use this basic bread dough for homemade pizza crusts, scones, fry bread for Navajo tacos, fry bread just for the heck of eating fried bread dough with honey on it, bread sticks, rolls, cinnamon rolls and on occassion I have even attempted to make soft pretzels out of it. I got this recipe off of Martha Stewart's Living website. I will paraphrase the instruction part of it as my printer cut off a word or two here and there.

Patricia's Basic Bread Dough
from Martha Stewart Living

Makes 1 1/2 lbs. dough
One simple, easy-to-prepare bread dough can be transtformed into breads, both sweet and savory. Chef Patricia Wells likes to use this dough in everything from pizza to dinner rolls.

1 teaspoon active dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
1 1/3 C. lukewarm water (about 105 degrees)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon fine sea salt (I use what's in the blue canister, Morton's)
4 C. bread flour, plus more if necessary

1. In the bowl of a heavy-duty electric mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment, combine yeast, sugar, and water, and stir. Let sit until foamy, about 5 minutes. Stir in oil and salt.

2-Add flour, a little at a time, mixing at the lowest speed until the flour has been absorbed, and the dough forms a ball. Continue on lowest speed until soft and satiny but still firm, 4 to 5 minutes. Add more flour, if necessary, to keep the dough from sticking. The dough should be soft.

3. Transfer the dough to a bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap in the refrigerator. Let the dough rise in the refrigerator until double in bulk, 8-12 hrs. The dough can be kept for 2-3 days in the refrigerator. Simply punch down the dough as it doubles.

NOTE: I don't do steps 2 and 3 the way stated above. After the dough becomes a ball, I then knead it in the mixer for 5 minutes on high. I transfer to an oiled bowl and cover loosely with plastic wrap and allow to double in size. I then punch down and shape into loaves and put into greased pans, making sure a little oil in on the tops to avoid drying out. I cover with plastic and allow to raise. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. ANOTHER NOTE: I usually double this recipe and make 3 loaves out of it.

Week 4

Week 4 of the drawer/shelf/cabinet/box a day challenge. Still doing it. This is huge for me. To still be doing a challenge to myself and be on week 4 of it, HUGE. The accountability is what makes the difference for me. If I have someone to report to, I mean. Same concept as Weight Watchers. So reporting into Sooz each night, and her to me, of what we've dejunked that day, it's very helpful, and has kept me going thus far. So I've found weird stuff, stuff I had forgotten I had kept and a boatload of photos that were displaced that I can organize and some day, dare I say it, get them into the photoalbum(s). I've taken one load to the thrift store so far, returned a series of books to a friend, plan on returning a box of stuff to another friend today, am one step closer to listing a few things for sale on Craig's List and am working on filling another box/boxes for another trip on Sat. to the Thrift store. Slowly, change is happening around here. You can't see it yet, but in another couple of months you'll be able to. Am also working on other changes, those of the spirit and body. And I suspect that those changes will be slow also, not easily detected in a month or two but after awhile of working on them, a change will be evident.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Sesame Peanut Noodle Salad

Sesame Peanut Noodle Salad
from Emeril Lagasse, Food Network

1 pound spaghetti
4 Tablespoons peanut oil, divided
4 Tablespoons creamy peanut butter
4 Tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
2 Tablespoons light brown sugar
2 teaspoons freshly minced ginger
1-2 pinches crushed red pepper flakes
1 C. julienned cucumbers, optional
1/4 C. green onion tops, sliced diagonally
1/4 C. chopped unsalted peanuts
1 Tablespoon sesame seeds

Fill a medium soup pot or Dutch oven with water and bring to a boil over high heat.

Boil the pasta according to package directions, omitting salt, about 9 minutes or until al dente. Drain the spaghetti in a colander, then transfer noodles to a large mixing bowl and, using tongs, toss with 2 tablespoons of the peanut oil to keep the pasta from sticking. Set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the remaining peanut oil, peanut butter, soy sauce, sesame oil, brown sugar, ginger, and crushed red pepper flakes. Whisk until smooth.

Pour 1/2 of the peanut mixture onto the spaghetti and, using tongs, toss to coat the pasta. Cover the spaghetti with plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled, about 2 hours.

When ready to serve, pour the remaining peanut mixture onto the spaghetti and toss to coat. Sprinkle with julienned cucumbers, if using, sliced green onions, chopped peanuts and sesame seeds. Serve immediately.

Sugared pecans

Or cashews, walnuts, almonds, hazel nuts, macadamias, peanuts. Once you learn this basic method, there are endless possibilities. I did this the other night and while I still don't have all the measurements, this is one of those recipes, let's face it, that you may have to do one or two times before you get it right. Some are just that way. So don't be afraid. But I will tell you what I've learned so that maybe you won't be wasting ingredients.

Take a small nonstick fry pan. Leave it dry. Put it on the burner and I then crank it up to high heat. I put 1/3 C. of white sugar in the pan. Have the nuts ready. How many nuts you ask? I had enough to make a layer over the sugar in the pan. I didn't measure them, but I'm thinking it was 3/4 to 1 C. of nuts. If I am using them for salads, then I usually chop them once or twice with a large knife. Now you have two choices here. If you want a hard crunch glazy type coating on the nuts, then let the sugar totally liquify. You may want to turn the heat down ever so slightly but either way you have to work fast and get those nuts in the pan, stir them around and then bam onto parchment paper to cool. The sugar goes brown and if you mess around too much it will get burnt tasting. Or taste burnt, whatever is correct English here. Or you can go for the second option and put the nuts in when the sugar just starts to liquify or liquifies halfway. Then coat, get onto a sheet of parchment paper or waxed paper or a sheet pan on your counter (if using the sheet pan I would spray a thin spray of PAM onto it before putting the caramelized nuts on it). If you do it the second way the nuts will be sugary and crunchy but not as hard or evenly glazed as the other way. I like them the second way actually but I am usually messing around and don't get them in the pan fast enough and they turn out the first way. You're actually making caramel, so do it when you don't have to answer the phone and when the kids are not in the kitchen with you. Send the dogs outside even. Oh, and sometimes, when the sugar is in the fry pan, I like to sprinkle a little cinnamon over it. Or over the nuts once I've added them. You could experiment with other spices also, sweet or savory type spices. These are great in salad with blue cheese or feta, craisins and/or mandarin oranges. You'll save a lot of money by making them yourself instead of buying them already sugared. You may eat most of them as is before they make it to your salad bowl.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

BBQ smokies or meatballs.

What I am giving you is the recipe for a sauce that you can use either on the Hillshire lil smokies or frozen prepared meatballs. Easy peezy. Could be a good and easy Superbowl appetizer if you're having a house full of hungry people.

one can of whole fruit cranberry sauce
one bottle of Heinz chili sauce
a couple of tablespoons of brown sugar
a couple of dashes of Worcestershire sauce

Add together. Put it on the smokies or on the frozen meatballs you heated up in the microwave. Or put the smokies or meatballs in the crockpot with the sauce. No, I don't know for how long. Maybe a couple of hours on low to heat up. Or one hour on high and then try one to see how much longer it will need on low? How's that for vague. I think that my crockpot runs hotter than the norm so you'll kind of know if you use your crock a lot how much to cook it for. Try the sauce though, I know it sounds weird but it's fabulous.

The magic solution

I have to tell you...DH (Dear Husband) was going through some boxes, he too has caught the dejunking train at our house, and he found two baby shirts from when he was a baby. Since he is a twin, there were two identical shirts. He came home early one day and I found him watching Martha Stewart (what's up with that?) and it was a segment on family where they showed how you can save your own or your children's baby clothes or special books and put them in a shadow box (of course, Martha makes some that you can buy at Michael's. What isn't she into?) to use as art in their bedroom and as a keepsake. So he got this idea that he wants to do the shirts in shadow boxes. Only one problem. They looked terrible. Yellowed and water stains on them that looked like someone had spilled coffee or tea on them. My friend Sooz is always telling me about her magic laundry solution. And I asked her what she would do to clean these 50 yr. old shirts. I was afraid at first to use bleach on them. She told me to try the magic solution on them. So in a bucket, (Sooz uses her washing machine to soak clothes, I find a bucket easier for me) I put one part dishwasher detergent (also known as Cascade, I used liquid), one part laundry detergent (a.k.a. Tide) and one part dry bleach(a.k.a. Oxyclean). What does this one part business mean? Well, what I did and maybe it was wrong, was to use the amount of laundry detergent I would normally use and then the same amount aproximately of the Cascade and then one scoop of the Oxyclean. I then filled the bucket with hot water enough that would cover the shirts. I then soaked them for maybe 7 or 8 hours. I then washed on an express cycle with bleach in it. And because I put more detergent in with the bleach on the wash cycle, foolishly, I put it through two more cycles without anything in it to get all of the soap out of them. What came out were two clean, white shirts, looking like they did 50 yrs. ago. So try it for your gray whites, stained tablecloths, etc. In retrospect, I should have maybe used less volume of the detergents per my two little shirts I was working on. But hey, I'm new to this and learning as I go.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Menu with what's on sale for the week of Jan. 20-Jan. 26

Funny, but the rain stopped after my ark post of this morning. Now I heard it going again tonight although with not as much tempest and tossing as last night.

For this week I came up with:


1-Egg biscuit, orange juice
2-Blueberry muffin, apple juice cocktail. See Blueberry muffin recipe at sidebar
3-Oatmeal, grapefruit
4-Egg-In-The-Hole, recipe at sidebar
5-Egg biscuit, grapefruit
6-French toast
7-Oatmeal, yogurt

1-PB&J sandwich, apple
2-Pasta salad or Sesame peanut salad from the night before. Apple
3-Egg salad sandwich, cookie, pear
4-PB&J sandwich, cookie
5-Chicken wrap. orange
6-Tomato soup or chicken noodle soup
7-Leftover spaghetti

1-Pasta salad or Sesame Peanut Noodles or salad, biscuit. Recipe for Sesame Peanut Noodles at sidebar or below this post.

2-Sweet pork tacos or salad.

3-Grilled cheese sandwich, chicken noodle soup

4-Two options: Either go light and have a grilled chicken breast or go with a ham stuffed chicken breast with a cream sauce of slightly thinned cream of chicken soup over top. Add a little slice of cheese in with the ham if you want. This is good with provolone but I didn't account for provolone in the total so use what you have. Make your own chicken flavored cream sauce by adding chicken broth as the liquid in a white or bechamel sauce. Either method is fine. Serve with a canned vegetable.


6-Spaghetti and red sauce, zucchini, herbed garlic butter on hamburger or hot dog buns, toasted

7-Chicken Pot Pie, green salad. See Pie crust recipe on sidebar. I did not put potatoes and carrots on the grocery list for this. You may have some leftover from last week, but I did allow for a bag of frozen vegs from Safeway at .99 if you want. I didn't allow for the pearl onions.

Review your recipes carefully so as to get exactly what you need at the stores.
I didn't add strawberries from Albertsons but though with a biscuit and some whipped cream it might make a tasty shortcake.

Donald Duck OJ, .99 with in ad coup from Wed.
Alb. biscuits, 4/$1 with in ad coup from Wed, buy 3
Campbell's chicken noodle or tomato soup, 5/$3, buy 4 at $2.40
Zucchini squash, .69 lb., buy one lb.
Alb. yogurt, 4/$1 on the same coup with the biscuits, buy 4

Boneless skinless chicken breasts, $1.37 lb., buy 4 lbs. at $5.48 NOTE: Stuffed chicken, chicken wraps and chicken pot pie are what you're buying for
large slicing tomatoes, .77 lb.
green, red leaf or romaine lettuce, .77 NOTE: take count of who's eating at your house, you may need to buy another one at .77 extra.
Barilla Pasta, .88, buy 2 at $1.76 One for the noodle or pasta salad, one for spaghetti night

Fry's milk, $1.59, buy 2 at $3.18
Pork Picnic roast, .99 lb. Now. I allowed for it to be a big one at 9 lbs. so that would be $8.91, but the truth of the matter is, that I don't know how big they're packaging them. If they are that big, you may need to freeze some of the meat after you cook it. Or do some with BBQ sauce to be different.
Kroger Value cookies, $1.19
Quaker oatmeal, $1.88
Red Delicious apples, 3 lb. bag, $2.57
Texas grapefruit, $3.47---NOTE:you may be able to do better for grapefruit at Safeway for 3/.99, I just don't know how many are in Fry's bag of grapefruit
Hunt's pasta sauce, 10/$10, buy 1
LaBanderita tortillas, 4/$5, so $1.25
Kroger Value buns, .88---NOTE: hot dog or hamburger, you are going to make garlic toast out of them
Kroger bar cheese, $4.99
Kroger Value apple juice cocktail, $1.47
Hillshire Farms lunchmeat, ham, $2.99 NOTE: you are going to use this to stuff in the chicken breasts one night if you wanted to, but optional unless you want it for lunches
Eggs, allowed for $1.50/doz., buy 3
Kroger Value bread, .88, buy 3
Cream of chicken soup, allowed for $1.75, buy 1 if you're doing the chicken sauce on the stuffed chicken breast
Chicken broth, I allowed for .99 and think you need to buy 3. One if you are making your own chicken sauce, 2 for the sauce for the chicken pot pies. So buy according to your plan this week.
Kroger Value peanut butter, have allowed for $1.47, you need to buy 2 if you're doing the peanut sesame noodle thing. If not, just buy one
Cucumber, $1 If you're doing the peanut sesame noodle thing
greean onion, allowed for .99, if you're doing the peanut sesame noodle thing
salsa, allowed for $2.50 if you're doing the sweet pork thing
canned vegetable, allowed for .99

Blueberries, .99
Safeway frozen vegs., .99 this is for the chicken pot pie

broccoli, .69 lb.
Bartlett pears, .77 lb., buy 3 lbs. at $2.31
Navel oranges, .77 lb., buy 3 lbs. at $2.31

Items not on the grocery list:
brown sugar
soy sauce
jelly or jam
pepper flakes

Sweet Pork

There are other versions of this but this one is so simple.

Sesame Peanut Noodle Salad

This recipe from Emeril Lagasse looks good.

Be ready at Ten O'Clock

I'm coming by with the Ark to pick you up. Be ready at Ten O'Clock. For those of you readers who are not in or from Arizona, five days of rain is a big deal here. Sounds incredibly silly to think so, I know, but...listening to the radio yesterday and some school districts let the children out early, some were talking of closing down, people were cautioned to stay home if they didn't need to be anywhere and to exercise extreme caution while traveling the roads. The rain is wonderful...I am keeping my front door open just so I can hear it better and so the dogs can watch it, they really like it also. But there are only so many parts of the earth that will absorb it (rain) here. All my friends have leaky roofs. Think about it, the only time you know you have a leaky roof is when it rains and if it doesn't rain hard but once a year, then you don't know until it's leaking on you and then you can't fix it because it's raining. Then when it dries, you can't find the leak. Dear Husband got up on a friend's roof yesterday and said that it was spongey. Scared me to death the thought of him up there on soggy particle or chip board. Maybe even plywood but that didn't help my anxiety about it. And how about those winds last night? Anyone else without power last night? I have yet to go anywhere so will be interested to see if any trees went down last night. Everyone still have their roof?

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Week 3

Week number three of the box a day challenge and I now remember why I hate to go through boxes. But I am making good headway today on three boxes after not doing anything on Monday and Tuesday. It's still a very good thing.

I failed to mention on the Flowbee post that after all that figuring of the savings of doing your own haircuts that I don't cut hair. I have cut hair with an electric trimmer and sometimes will trim DS's hair with a scissors but choose to currently not cut hair with the electric trimmer. Not after the electric trimmer fiasco of two years ago when I put a divot in the back of DH's head and we had to sit on the back row of church for a month until it grew back in. But you will do better than me if you choose to start cutting hair for the men in your life. Just a word of advice, don't say "Uh-oh" while you're doing it. Or you can, just to cause a little anxiety for the fun of it.

Sunday, January 17, 2010


Our Stake President told my kids, who were in a meeting with a bunch of other kids, that by using this, he was able to finance two of his kids on missions. And my friend said that he has used it for 18 yrs.

I love that it's a "refreshing vacuum haircut". That cracks me up every time I read it.

So ever the skeptic, I tried to figure out how this gadget could be responsible for sending two kids on missions. Which, by the way, if you are not LDS, now cost $300 or $400/month, for two years. So if it's the latter figure, $400 (I can't remember, senility has set in, don't you know), that's $9600 for two years. If it was $300 per month when his kids went, then that is $7200 for two years.

So let's just say that each man's haircut is $15. And let's just say that you get your hair cut, if you're a man 8 times per year. That's $120 per year. Let's say that there are five male heads in your family getting haircuts 8 times per year. That totals $600 per year. Six thousand dollars for ten years and $10,800 for 18 years. Now I'm not sure how many male heads were in their household and if the female heads are even having the flowbee used on them, or even how much missions cost when his boys went. But I am amazed. We think when we buy something or get a service, that "It's only $15". Look how things add up. Look how things would add up if you saved $600 a year for something spectacular.


from The Pioneer Woman Cooks cookbook, pg. 46-47

Siced bread, such as white, whole wheat, sourdough
Large eggs
black pepper

Take the bread slice and use a biscuit cutter to take a hole out of the middle of the bread. Heat 2-3 tablespoons of butter in a skillet over medium-low heat, then place the bread in the skillet and allow it to soak up the butter. After 1 minute, creack a large egg into the hole. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and cook for another minute. Throw another tablespoon of butter into the pan. With a spatual, flip to the other side. Move the bread around in the skillet a bit, allowing it to soak in the butter. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and cook on the second side until the egg is the desired doneness. I love the outer edges of theyolk to be barely set, with the center runny.

Menu with what's on sale for the week of Jan. 13-Jan. 19


if you want to include a pack of string cheese for lunches from Fresh & Easy for $2.99, then the total will be


1-Cold cereal, milk, o j
2-Breakfast tacos, o j (sausage, eggs, cheese and potato if you wish in a tortilla)
3-Eggs, toast or PW's "Egg-In-The-Hole"
4-French Toast, hot chocolate
5-Cold cereal, milk
6-Cinnamon toast, hot cocoa or hot chocolate
7-Cold cereal, milk

1-PB&J sandwich, cake mix cookies, see side bar
2-Tuna sandwich, pudding cup
3-Bagel and cream cheese, orange
4-Turkey sandwich, apple
5-PB&J sandwich, carrots, apple
6-Hot dog, cake mix cookies
7-Bacon, lettuce & tomato sandwich

1-Taco soup, you could leave out the ground beef and make this vegetarian if you wanted to. Recipe on side bar. Shredded cheese, sour cream and tortilla chips to top
2-Chicken or chicken & dumplings. Rice and veg. Use a can of biscuit dough for the dumplings if you want for this. Pillsbury or Kroger brand are $1 at Fry's this week
3-Grilled ham and cheese sandwich, soup
4-Chili mac, green salad, french bread. Macaroni, ground beef, spaghetti sauce, and chili powder and garlic powder. You could add in the leftover taco soup if you needed to get rid of leftovers.
5-Pot roast, potatoes, carrots, can of vegetables
6-Macaroni & cheese, can of vegetables
7-Scrambled eggs and ham or Green eggs and ham if you are so inclined, and toast

Snacks or desserts:
Ice cream
Cake mix cookies

Grocery List
Albertson's milk, $1.58, buy 2 at $3.16
Iceberg letuce, .78 with coupon from Wed. ad
Tomatoes, $1 ea with coupon from Wed. ad
French bread, .88 with coupon from Wed. ad
Jennie O hickory smoked turkey breast from the deli, $2.88 lb. with coupon from Wed. ad
Albertson's chunk cheese, $3.88 for 2 lbs.
Skippy peanut butter, .99, or buy it Kroger brand at Fry's for same price this week
Calidad tortilla chips, 10/$10, buy one

Chuck roast, $1.27 lb., buy 4 lbs. at $5.08
Russet potatoes, 5 lb. bag, .79
Bashas lg. eggs, $1.19 doz., buy 3
Natures Own Bagels, 2/$4, buy 1
Food Club vegs or tomatoes, 2/$1, buy 2 tomatoes, 1 corn and 2 other vegs of choice, at 5 total
Tyson bacon, $1.99
Food Club beans, .69

Fresh & Easy
Mother's Joy corn flakes, .98, buy 2
Mary Lee rice and Pasta mix, .69
Mary Lee mac and cheese, .39, buy 2
Fresh and Easy colid white tuna, .63, buy 1
Cinch Deluxe cake mix, .89
Pantry Select bread, .88, buy 5 or buy Kroger Value brand at Fry's. Make sure there are 20 slices of bread in the loaf
Pantry Select Hot dog buns, .88
Romeros Flour tortillas, .98 or buy Guerero soft taco shells at Fry's for $1
Farmland Hickory smoked hot dogs, .99
Lawry's taco seasoning, .55
*optional--F&E string cheese for $2.99

Super lean gr. beef, $1.88 lb. in 2 lb. chubs, for $3.76
Whole chicken or drums or thighs, .88 lb., buy 4 lbs. at $3.52
Swiss Miss cocoa mix, .88
Private Selection or Kroger Deluxe ice cream, .88 per pint, buy 2
Kroger sour cream, .88 pint
Apples, .88 lb., buy 4 lbs. at $3.52
Kroger microwave popcorn, .88
Hunt's snack pack pudding cups, .88
Kroger salad dressing, .88
American Beauty Pasta, .88, or you can buy F&E pasta for .99
Kroger Value Pasta sauce, .88
Campbell's soup, .88, buy 2
Sunny D [punch or Kroger o j, .88
Kroger lunchmeat, buy one ham, $2.99 each
Hunt's tomato sauce, .88
Kroger mini peeled carrots, 10/$10, buy 1
Baguette, $1
Kroger peanut butter, $1
Kroger value bread, .88, buy 5 if you didn't buy it at F&E
Kroger or Pillsbury biscuits, $1, buy if making dumplings
Farmland frozen links, $1
Kroger cream cheese, $1
Guerrero soft taco tortillas, $1 if not buying the ones at F&E

Oranges, 3 lbs./$1, buy 9 lbs. at $3

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Help out

I am doing shelf #3 in the pantry today. I took a little break to check in and looked on the pioneer woman. She is offering a different kind of contest, go to to read about it or go to the link on the left side of my blog and click onto "a different kind of contest" which will take you directly there. She is giving away $500 to the charity of two people's choice, the ones that will win the contest. Those are Haitian charities. And for giving a shout out in her comments section not only will you register for the prizes but you will be helping as well, she will give .10 for everyone who comments today to charity. Three different Haitian Charities. Such a passive way for us to do charity, so simple, sitting on our rear ends at the computer, in our warm onto the pioneer woman now.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

To throw out or not to throw out

So...going through the second shelf of the pantry. I have some rice, coucous, stuffing and Hamburger helper mixes that are 3 and 4 years old. If it were you, would you keep them or throw them out?

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Week 2

Week number two of the clean a shelf/drawer/cabinet/box a day challenge and it's going well. Well, I survived a minor glitch through the weekend when I froze on decision making and had the contents of one linen closet on the kitchen table for 3, no, 4 days. But I am back now. And I didn't do it Monday, so I did two spots today. Now to put the Christmas decorations back in their boxes and away for another year. A different task completely from this challenge. So today I threw out 3 year old cereal and crackers from a shelf on my pantry. And also threw out an odd bag found of Cheerios. And found Teddy Grahms I didn't know we had. My daughter was delighted and so as they sat on the counter waiting for a decision as to whether I thought they were still edible, she ate them. I come from a long line of savers and hoarders so any accomplishment, however little it may be, is a victory in this area.

Beef Burgundy

I told someone that I would post this recipe for the crockpot and as usually happens, then I cannot find the printed version to make sure I have it correct. So I will do my best. I have been using my crockpot about twice a week lately. After school and before dinner is a busy time for most people. Putting dinner ingredients in the crockpot at 1 or 2 in the afternoon ensures that there is something for us to eat at 5 or 6.

Beef Burgundy

Small to medium roast that you cut into chunks
salt and pepper and garlic powder
One package of sliced or whole fresh mushrooms
Beef broth, 1 or 2 cans
1 bag of frozen whole pearl onions

Season beef chunks in the flour. Fry to sear in a hot fry pan with olive oil. Put meat into the crockpot. Deglaze the fry pan with the beef broth, then add the mushroom chunks or slices and the pearl onions. Let sauce simmer to reduce for a few minutes, then add to the crockpot and cook on high for 2-3 hrs. or on low for 5-6 hrs. If you want to fry the mushrooms before adding to the broth you can, so to add color to them.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Menu with what's on sale for the week of Jan. 6-Jan. 12


1-Pancakes-any chocolate chips left over from Christmas baking would be good in these. Or cut up some chocolate you have stashed.
2-Cold cereal, milk, juice
3-Oatmeal, juice
4-Cold cereal, milk, pear wedges
5-Oatmeal, Sunny D
6-Corn griddle cakes, use the recipe on the Jiffy corn muffin mix, Sunny D
7-Eggs, toast, hash browns, hot cocoa

1-Tuna sandwich, banana, quakes
2-PB&J sandwich, banana, pudding cup
3-Tuna sandwich, carrots, clementine
4-PB&J sandwich, clementine, quakes
5-Tuna sandwich, carrots apple
6-Ramen noodles, apple
7-Ramen noodles (wisk an egg into the soup and/or put leftover vegetables from dinner in it)

1-Turkey tacos(use the turkey taco deal from Bashas, you'll need the coupons in Wed. ad)

2-Split pea or lentil soup, baguette

3-Spaghetti, romaine salad, baguette

4-Broccoli mushroom frittata, corn bread, vegetable

5-Chicken legs, cabbage ramen salad (Oriental cole slaw), Zatarain's rice mix

6-Fish sticks, roasted potato wedges, vegetable, corn muffins

7-Hot dogs, buns, potato salad, soda

Grocery List:
Russet potatoes, 15 lbs., $1.88 ea
Pasta Roni, $1
Sunny D, $1, buy 2
Shredded hash browns, $1
Bar S jumbo franks, $1
Albertson's quick oats, $1
Quaker Quakes, $1
Zaterains Rice mix, $1
Hunt's spaghetti sauce, $1
Carrots, $1
Sliced mushrooms, $1
Malt O meal cereal, (I think this was the $1 one), $1

Jennie-O ground turkey deal, buy 1.25 lb., $5.99 at get for free with coupons in ad:
Food Club cheese, free
Food Club taco shells, free
Food Club taco seasoning, free
Dole shredded lettuce, free
Dole bananas, 3 lbs./.99, buy 6 lbs. at $1.98
Ramaine lettuce, .99 ea
Bashas milk, $1.77, buy 2
Langer's juice, $1.88
Food Club pancake mix, $1.99
Food Club syrup, $1.99 if you need it
Nestle hot cocoa mix, .99
Maruchan Ramen noodles, 6/$1, buy 6
Food Club butter, $1.99
green onion, 2/$1, buy 1 at .50
Broccoli, .99 lb.
Eggs, $1.39, buy 3 dozen

California clementines, $1.99 ea
Fresh chicken drumsticks, thighs or leg quarters or whole fryer, .67 lb., buy 4 lbs. at $2.68
Libby's canned vegetables, .50 ea, buy 2 cans
Skippy peanut butter, $1.49
Hunt's snack pack pudding, .88
Kroger tuna, .50, buy 3
Jiffy corn muffin mix, .39, buy 3
Big K soda, .69
Baguettes, $1., buy 2
Gorton's fish sticks, $2.99
Kroger cheese, $2.99
Kroger Value Bread, .88, buy 4
Fry's spaghetti, .88
onions, allowed for .50
hot dog buns, $1.50
Mayonnaise, allowed for $3.00

Bartlett or Bosc pears, .77 l.b, buy 2
Pink Lady apples, .77 lb., buy 6 lbs. at $3.55
Green cabbage, 3 lbs./$1, buy 3 lbs.
dried beans, lentils, and split peas, .75 lb.

Other great grocery deals:
Mangos, 2/$1-Fry's
Fry's tomato sauce, .17-Fry's
Fry's canned tomatoes,.59-Fry's
Hunt's past sauce, $1-Fry's
Roast sale, buy one, get one free-Fry's
Quaker instant oatmeal, $1.88-Fry's
80% ground beef, $1.67 lb.-Bashas
Hunt's tomatoes, .99-Bashas
Bashas cour cream, $1.15-Bashas
Mini peeled carrots, .99-Bashas
Rice A Roni, $1-Albertsons
Stagg chili, $1-Albertsons
Betty Crocker pouch potatoes, $1-Albertsons
Albertson's sour cream,$1-Albertsons

Items not on grocery list:
or taco sauce
Almonds(you can make the cole slaw without)
olive oil
herbs and spices
pickles for potato salad

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Why plan a weekly dinner menu?

The second to the last blog of my favorite blog list is "This week for dinner". She briefly summarizes each week what she plans for dinner each night and encourages her readers to do the same. She is offering a prize or two for a contest she is having, you need to enter by Monday, Jan. 11 to qualify. Be sure and comment under the post for Jan 6. There is also a beautiful weekly dinner menu that you can download for free on that post. Monday-Sunday and you write your plan in. Information on that post also on how and where to get other cute menu helpers.

Which segways nicely into a thought I had yesterday. We are a family of four. Two adults and two kids but kids with adult appetites. Whenever we eat fast food, it's at least $20. Let's say a family did that twice a month. Multiply that by 24 and that's $480 per year. When I don't plan out what we are having ahead of time, we eat fast food more than 2 times per month.

When we eat out at a casual dining restaurant or if Mr. Budget Menu and I go out to a nice restaurant, it's always at least $50. So let's say we do that once a month, multiply that by 12 and that's $600 per year.

I'm not saying that you should eat at home ALL of the time. But it amazes me how much a family can save per year by cutting out the times they eat fast food or eat out. Menu planning can help eliminate the need for eating out or grabbing a quick burger.

You may be saying to yourself, "I work full time, I don't have time to plan or time to cook." I am a SAHM, but with two very busy kids who always need to be somewhere or be picked up during the time I would be cooking dinner. I don't always get it right but here are some things that help when I am on track.

1-Crockpot. The crockpot is your friend. This week I made crockpot lasagne for dinner. I put it on late (after 2 p.m.) so cranked it up to high. At 5:30 when we got home, dinner was ready.

2-Prepping ahead. They do this in restaurants. They prep the day ahead or hours ahead so that they're ready for dinner service. Here is what I do. When ground beef goes on sale I buy a bunch at one time. I then bring it home and cook it. I then drain the fat off of it and rinse it under hot water. After the water drains off of it, I season it with salt and pepper and sometimes garlic powder. I then bag it in dinner sized portions for spaghetti sauce, tacos, casseroles, etc. at a later date. I freeze and then when I need hamburger for dinner I pull it out of the freezer, defrost or heat in the microwave and dinner is ready in a flash. NOTE: freeze the bag flat and it will come out of the bag in it's frozen state easier. You can prep lots of things when you have time. Onions, celery, chicken, pork, etc. Either park in the fridge or freeze. When you buy those items already prepped in the grocery store it's a time saver but if you need to save $, do a quick adding session of how much you'll save if you do it yourself.

3-Make ahead. When I can, I make the casserole earlier in the day, or you could do it the night before, and park it in the fridge. Microwave when you're ready to eat.

4-Freeze leftovers. When I've made too much or planned to make too much, I freeze the overflow and use it on a night when I don't have time to cook dry beans or pasta or whatever else. Frozen pasta (without any sauce on it) just needs to soak in hot water and it's ready to serve in about five to ten minutes. Cook a ton of beans in the crockpot and then portion them out in smaller containers and freeze to use for burritos or bean and corn salsa or salad in the future. This tip only works if you remember what you have frozen in the freezer and use it so you're not throwing it out a year from now.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Day 3

Day number three of my one drawer/shelf/box/cabinet a day dejunking challenge and it's been good. Very good. I am making wassail to get me through the task I've given myself today. I am going through a linen closet, or part of one today. So far I've found expired oatmeal, expired cookie mixes, the last of the free pasta from the deal of the century a few years back, a Mikasa frame I bought for a future wedding gift that I'd forgotten about, four plastic Walgreen's Santa plates that I had bought to put Christmas treats on for friends at a Christmas clearance for this past Christmas, I think, mini Christmas candles, a shower curtain, shower curtain rings, rugs, old towels to be used for car washing, a toilet carpet thing(that goes on top of the lid), a tri-fold picture frame that I bought at a yard sale, "Ten little Catepillars" children's book, a calligraphy kit that I bought at a yard sale, photo albums, tons of tablecloths and napkins that I never use and binder rings. It all makes perfect sense to me why they would all be in the closet that I've alloted to linens.

Some of the other things I've found this week in the towel cabinet:

Light bulbs I've forgotten about
Expired Chex mix
Expired granola bars
A bag of nugget truffles that was disgusting but that the 17 yr. old eating machine ate anyway
Prego spaghetti sauce with meatballs
paper tablecloths
white napkins I forgot I had

And the piece de resistance (or whatever, however that's said or spelled):
little baggies of my kid's baby teeth that I found in a sock drawer. With Sharpie pen writing on the baggies with the date that the teeth came out. I told myself that I was being a good mother when I bagged them.

Why I was keeping the last items is probably most funny or disturbing, however you tend to look at things. However, I did not find any umbilical cords in baggies in said sock drawer. Not yet anyway.