Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Kroger Deals for week ending 10/06/09


Here is what I'm up to this week. I've expanded my reach to Fred's. Can't beat Freds Suave deal. Our Blytheville Fred's doubles coupons on Saturdays up to $.70. They also have the Lifewater there so I'm headed back with my coupons to get my free bottles.

This picture and detail is for my friend Alison who always asks to see what I actually did. In this picture are 8 Suave shampoo's, 8 Green Giant Veggies, 2 Ketchup's, 2 4-roll Toilet Paper, 8 cans of Campbell's soups, 10 Yoplait Whips yogurts, 2 packs of Fiber One yogurts, 2 betty crocker cake mixes, 2 betty crocker frostings, one box of Betty Crocker Au Gratin Potatoes, 4 boxes of toaster strudels, 2 boxes of Keebler Right Bite cookies, 2 tubes of crescent rolls, 2 bags of Sargento shredded cheese and a Gallon of Milk. I used my $3 off meat (Old El Passo deal) coupon to buy a 6.19 pound double pack of beef roasts. They were on sale for $1.97 so I paid $12 minus the $3 coupon. I'll get at least 4 or 5 meals out of those roasts. In addition the deals below, I used my $1.50 register reward from the Grands Catalina last week as well as the $1 register reward from the Green Giant Catalina. I received $2 dollars back from Green Giant Catalina.

Final Price Paid: $32.39
Total Savings: $59.44

Its like having $91.83 worth of grociers

Freds
Suave Shampoo $.69
-$1.00/2 Printable
Net Price, $.19 each

Gain Laundry Detergent $4.49
-$1.00 any SS insert (thanks mom)
Final Price, $3.49

Kroger
Hunt’s Ketchup $1
-$1/2 September All You
Final Price, $.50 each

Angel Soft Toilet Paper (4 rolls)
 $1
$.50 in the 9/13 RP Insert (thank you mom)

Final Price, FREE

Campbells Soup $1/$2
- $1/2 Printable
Final Price, FREE

Yoplait Yogurt $5/10
- (3) $.60/3 Printable Coupons
-$.50/6 Shortcuts
Final Price, $.90/10 or $.09 each

Green Giant Veggies $3/2
-$.50/2 Printable
-$.50/2 Shortcuts
Final Price, $.50 each

Fiber One Yogurt $2.50
-$1.00 Printable
-$1.00 Cellfire
Final Price, $.50

Betty Crocker Cake Mix $1
-$.50/2 Printable
-$.50 doubled
-$.50 Shortcuts
Final Price, $.50/2

Betty Crocker Potatoes $1.67
-$.50 Printable (found this on top of coupons.com now gone)
-$.50 doubled
-$.40 Shortcuts
Final Price, $.27

Pillsbury Toaster Strudel $1.99
-(2) $1.00 Printable
-$.55/2 Shortcuts
Final Price, $.71 each

Keebler Right Bites $4/2
-1.00 Printable
Final Price, $1.50 each

Pillsbury Crescent Rolls $1.79
-(2) $1.00 Printable
-$1.00/2 Shortcuts
Final Price, $.58/2

Kroger brand Appetizer or Snack (frozen) $5.45
-1.25/2 Kroger Mailer
Final Price, $4 each

Sargento Cheese $1.99
-1.25/2 Kroger Mailer
Final Price, $1.36 each

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Old Fashioned Meatloaf


This is the recipe that resembles the meatloaf my hubby's mom used to make. It does not have a ton of ingredients so the flavor of the beef really comes though.

It became a fast favorite though-out my entire family. I make this recipe ahead and freeze for myself as well as my sister. I'll often buy a 5 pound roll of beef and make 3/4 meat loaves (depending on who its for portion wise).

Old Fashioned Meat Loaf

1 pound ground beef
1-1/4 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 egg, lightly beaten
8 ounces canned diced tomatoes with juice
1/2 cup quick cooking oats, pureed to a powder (GF Certified oats only)

Topping
1/3 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon prepared mustard

Preheat oven 375 degrees.

Mix all ingredients well and either shape into loaf and place on baking sheet or use a loaf pan.

Mix toppings and spread on loaf.

Bake 1 hour.
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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Apple Butter in the Crock Pot

3- 3 lb (50 oz) jars unsweetened apple sauce

3 lbs granny smith apples (3/4 apples)
4 cups sugar

1/2 cups apple juice
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cloves
1 tsp allspice

Peel and cut apples into small chips.

Place 2 jars of apple sauce, 4 cups sugar, 2 teaspoons cinnamon, 1 teaspoon cloves and 1 teaspoon allspice in the crock pot and stir.

Cover and cook on low overnight (ten hours or so until reduced by at least 2 inches). I cooked mine overnight on low.

In the morning, Remove cover, stir and taste. Add more spices or sugar if desired. Add another 50 oz container of apple sauce and continue cooking for a few more hours or until reduced to 3/4's of pot, uncovered (takes my crock pot another 8 hours with lid on and overnight again with lid propped up. I think a newer pot would be just fine with 8 hours with lid up). Final product will be dark and will be almost caramelized and a rich dark color. I use a wooden spoon to prop lid open. It is important that the lid is off or propped up to allow the steam to escape so butter can reduce.

Emulsify the hot apple butter until smooth.

Pour into jars and refrigerate or can properly (hot sterile jars/hot sauce/hot lids and cook for 10 minutes)


This recipe is posted:


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Menu Plan Monday

Its late, I know. Menu planning is hard!

Monday
B: Cereal
D: Sirloin, mashed potatoes, corn

Tuesday:
B: French Toast
D: Pork Loin, potato & Onions

Wednesday:
B: Waffles
D:

Thrusday:
B: Eggs, Bacon
D: Crock Pot Chili

Friday:
B: Pancakes
D: Our Favorite Buffet Place

Saturday:
B: Egg Omelets, hash browns
L: Chili Cheese Fries Casserole
D: Chicken dish (TBD)

Sunday:
B: Eggs, Bacon, toast
L: Burgers
D: Lasagna
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Friday, September 25, 2009

My Coupons were not Deducted at the Register

Has this ever happened to you? Found out on the way home, too late unless you turn around and argue......hope for the best? This is the worst possible thing that can happen to me at the supermarket.

Yesterday I had this unfortunate thing happen to me. Two $1/2 grands coupons, two $.50/2 green giant coupons which should have been doubled, $1.00 J&J buddies coupon, $.50 which should have doubled BC Potatoes coupon, $.50/2 Fruit Snacks which should have doubled.

I have and ace in the hole though. I have a sister who works for Kroger. She knows all the tricks (as an employee and shopper both) and she passes these tidbits onto me. I just had to share this one with all of you. Put your initials somewhere on your coupon. Next time either a cashier steals (yes unfortunately it happens) or makes a mistake you can go back and prove it without argument. You wont need to argue, get all upset or hope for a nice CS person. They can simply check the drawer for YOUR coupons.

To read about more money saving tips, go to Frugal Friday hosted by Life As Mom.

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Thursday, September 24, 2009

Twice Baked Pork Chops

This is one of our favorite recipes of all times.  When I first went Gluten Free I would look at a recipe that called for bread crumbs and dismiss the recipe entirely with a sense of discouragement. It is funny how resourceful you learn how to be under pressure.  Now a-days, I will process cereal into crumbs, puree gluten free oats into a flour, process potato chips into crumbs, save bread ends for crumbs (that used to get tossed before), I have even been known to use waffles processed into crumbs.  Use what you have and give it a try.





6 pork chops
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon seasoning salt
2 egg, beaten
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups Gluten Free Bread Crumbs
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 (10.75 ounce) can Progresso Mushroom Soup
1/4 cup white wine
1 Tablespoon Brown Rice Flour


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Rinse pork chops, pat dry, and season with garlic powder and seasoning salt to taste. Place the beaten eggs in a small bowl. Dredge the pork chops lightly in flour, dip in the egg, and coat liberally with bread crumbs.  
  • Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Fry the pork chops 5 minutes per side, or until the breading appears browned. Transfer the chops to a 9x13 inch baking dish, and cover with foil.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 1 hour. While baking, combine the cream of mushroom soup, white wine and flour in a medium bowl. After the pork chops have baked for an hour, cover them with the soup mixture. Replace foil, and bake for another 30 minutes.

Note:


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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Kroger Deals for week ending 9/29/09

I'm not getting much this week. Sale is pretty much the same deals (for my store) as it was last week. While I'm there I'm going to check out Green Giant and Betty Crocker Potatoes since there is a printable and shortcuts loadable.

(4) Pillsbury Grands!
$.99 = 3.96
- $1.00/2 Grands! Biscuits here or here
- $1.00/2 Grands! Biscuits
- $1.00/2 Grands! Biscuits Shortcuts eCoupon
- $1.00/2 Grands! Biscuits Cellfire
Final Price, FREE plus receive $1.50 Catalina back

Remember the Grands Catalina offer outlined here. I plan to buy 4 to get the 1.50 back.

(2) Colgate Toothpaste $.94
- $1.00 from 9/13 SS or
- $1.00 from
Printable Coupon
Final Price, Free

General Mills Cereal $1.77
- $.55 printable Cheerieos (no longer available)
- $.55 Shortcuts eCoupon Cheerieos
- $.55 printable Cinnamon Toast Crunch (no longer available)
- $.55 Cellfire eCoupon Cinnamon Toast Crunch
Final Price, $.27 each

Betty Crocker Fruit Snacks $1.77
- $0.50/2
Printable coupon
- $.50 doubled
- $.50/2 Shortcuts eCoupon
(8/9 SS) save $0.40
Final Price, $1.02 each

If Lunchables are still included in MEGA again this week, I'll do a bunch more of those.


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Reward Charts

Reward Charts

I don't know about you, but there are so many times in my life when I think to myself, "this is crazy, I don't know what to do. This is only my first 6 year old ever". Like when my child's teacher comes to me with the news that my child seems to have difficulty paying attention in class.

My child is borderline ADD (so I'm told from school). The teachers suggest I get him medically evaluated for drugs. I really don't like the medicated route. I know they work, I've seen it with my sister's kid. But I feel very strongly that if god did not provide it in nature, I wont give it to him. No pharmaceuticals for this family thankyouverymuch.

Super Nanny to the rescue. Have you ever seen that show? Well her web site is a huge resource to perform theses very same miracles yourself. Just click here and see for yourself.

So with my newfound knowledge in hand I set out for my newest journey. A new family routine. A new set of house rules. A new stool in the corner for punishment. And last and most certainly not least, a reward chart. My son's teacher has also been instructed to place in him the corner after fair warning to follow the rules. For a 6/7 year old, this most certainly will be not ideal. I'm pretty sure he will make sure he wont get into that corner.

Each day I drop my kids off, pop my head into my sons room and find out how he did (did he have to be sent to the corner at all?). If he did well he gets a star for his chart. 30 stars means a reward. Something he has been after in the worst way.

So far, so good. He claims to be doing his best. He actually gets to have recess these days which I'm very happy about.

For more useful tips visit Works for Me Wednesday.


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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Cheese Cake Pancakes

2 cubs Strawberries, chopped into quarters
1/2 teaspoon Balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar

3 egg yolks and whites separated
2 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup cottage cheese
1/3 cup all purpose flour (I'll use Pamela's Pancake mix)

Add strawberries, vinegar and sugar in bowl. Stir and allow to marinade.

Mix the egg yolks, sugar, vanilla, cheese and flour until well incorporated.

In another bowl whisk egg whites until frothy (just before soft peaks). Incorporate (fold) into batter.

Heat skillet and make pancakes 3 or 4 inches in diameter. Top should be bubbly before flipping.

Serve warm with strawberries.

This recipe is posted:





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Sunday, September 20, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

Last week was a total and complete menu plan failure. I have no idea what's wrong with me. I just did not feel like doing anything. Well, maybe secretly turning 40 had something to do with it. I'm better now and fully plan to follow up on this meal plan.

Mondays and Thursdays are super booked from activities so Im going to have to start looking for more crock pot recipes. If you have a great one and are reading this, leave me a link ~ Please?

Monday:
B - Eggs, bacon, toast
D - Kielbasa Soup/Pierogies

Tuesday:
B: Cheese Cake Pancakes
D: Meatloaf/Mashed Potatoes

Wednesday:
B: Egg Omlet, toast
D: Twice Baked Pork Chops

Thursday:
B: Yeast Oatmeal Waffles
D: Beef Roast w/mushrooms, carrots, potatoes

Friday:
B: Oatmeal
D: Taco Night

Saturday
B: Eggs, Hash Browns, Toast
L: Hotdogs/Beans
D: Beef and gravy (Revisited) over egg noodles

Sunday:
B: French Toast
D: Spaghetti

Need menu inspiration, just visit click here to visit Menu Plan Monday.
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Thursday, September 17, 2009

Hoagie Dip

This is definitely a wonderful way to have your hoagie Gluten Free style.  Just use corn chip scoops.

I first wrote this recipe down from my Sister-in-law as she was rambling what she put in this fantastic dip. Seriously, it's so good. I have no clue where she got it. They are definitely the word of mouth sort of recipe gals. They really would use any sort of lunch meat combo on sale or they preferred. This version was made for me (since I'm Italian). I personally would use extra sharp provolone as the cheese in this dip as well as ROMA tomatoes.

1/2 pound cooked Ham, sliced thin
1/2 pound Genoa Salami, sliced thin
1/2 pound Mortadella, sliced thin
1/2 pound Capicola, sliced thin
1 pound American Cheese, sliced
1 cups Mayonnaise
2 teaspoons Oregano
1 Onion, Chopped small
1/2 head iceberg lettuce, shredded
2 tomatoes, diced
1 big bag of Tostitos Brand Scoops
(should not variate from scoops or you will have hard time picking up dip)

Dice the lunch meats into small pieces.
In a large bowl, blend the Mayonnaise with seasoning and onions.
While mixing add lunch meat pieces by small portions incorporating well. Continue until all meat is added and coated nicely with mayo.

It can be kept at this point and stored for use.

Later, add the shredded Lettuce and Tomato. Mix gently. Serve with Frito Lay Brand Scoops.

************************

Jessica/ Fish Momma at Ultimate Recipe Swap is having a Football Food carnival. Click here to read up on all the great ideas.

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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Pillsbury Grands Catalina Offer

I received a printout at the check out counter in Kroger today. The coupon outlines a Pillsbury Refrigerated Grands biscuit offer. Coupon states:

Buy any Pillsbury Refrigerated Grands or Grands Junior biscuits (all count sizes) between 9/7 and 10/4.

Buy (3) and get 1.00
Buy (4) and get 1.50
Buy (5) or more and get 2.00

Coupon off your next Shopping Order. Lots of printable out there available for Grands. Combine them with the Shortcuts loadable. With any luck, they will go on sale again soon.

Currently they are $1.15 at my store.

1.15 x 3 = 3.45
- 1.00/2 Shortcuts Coupon
- 1.00/2 Printable
1.45/3 or $.48 cents each

- 1.00 returned coupon
$.45/3 or $.05 each

For more money saving ideas, visit Life as Mom's Frugal Friday.



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Kroger Deals for week ending 9/22/09

Another MEGA event this week. Not as great for me, I only recently discovered where to get the Sunday paper for the big town nearby. Below you will find the list of items I plan on purchasing thanks to the Kroger mailing I received. I just want to warn you, if you receive a mailing and do not use the coupons they send, you may not receive the next batch.

Kellogs Pop Tarts $1.98

.55 coupon Kroger Mailer
.55 double
.88

Charmin $1.88
.25 coupon Sept. All You
.25 double
1.38

Kraft Cheese $1.87
1.00/2 Kroger Mailer
1.37 each
(not a great price for shreads, Kroger brand is 1.20)

Kraft Dressing $1.49
-1.00 coupon Kroger Mailer
.49

Juicy Juice $1.99
-1.00/2 Kroger Mailer or here
1.49 each

Oscar Mayer Lunchable $1.99
-1.50/2 Kroger Mailer
1.24 each
(considering school lunch costs $2, this sounds good to me)

2-Oscar Mayer Lunchable $1.99
-1.00 Printable or here
99 each

Oscar Mayer Bologna or Salami $1.49
-1.00/2 Kroger Mailer
.99 each

Lean cuisine $1.77
-2.00/3 Sept All You
1.10 each

Velveeta Mac & Cheese $1.19
-1.00/2
1.28 each
(my family KNOWS when its Velveeta, there is a taste difference but its too expensive to buy every day)

Wheat Thins $1.99
-1.00 printable
.99 each


I had a few other things I needed to get as well that I added onto the list:
2 bags of Kroger pretzels (.55/2 doubled),
10 boxes of Hefty One Zip Freezer bags ($1.00/2, 50 cents each),
6 cans of cream corn,
Old El Paso deal with 3 packets of seasoning and 3 cans of refried beans (.60/2 shortcuts, 3 .60/2 no longer available printable),
Kroger Sour Cream,
Eggs,
6 Yoplait Yogurts (2 $.60/3 coupons, plus $60/6 shortcuts),
Kraft BBQ sauce (free with 2/velveeta shells),
Orida Mashed Potatoes ($1.00 coupon),
Mentos (.55 doubled) and an
egg plant.

As I seen the total go past 100, started to panic. I realized I forgot to scan my Kroger card. So the total came down to approximately $87. She then took off my rain check and coupons and the final price was:

Total Paid:
$52.52
56 items

Total without coupons and savings:
$110

For those of you who print out all the new coupons available ahead of time (the ones you feel you will use), Do you have some Old El Paso coupons left? There is a Catalina deal going on. Buy 3 products, save $1 on your next beef or chicken purchase. Buy 6 products and save $3.

Buy 3 packs of taco season for
$.99 each = 2.97.
-.60/2 Shortcuts
-.60/2 Printable (no longer active)
-.60 doubled
1.17/3 and receive $1.00 coupon

I also received a printout that outlines a Pillsbury Refrigerated Grands biscuit offer. Coupon states:

Buy any Pillsbury Refrigerated Grands or Grands Junior biscuits (all count sizes) between 9/7 and 10/4.

Buy (3) and get 1.00
Buy (4) and get 1.50
Buy (5) or more and get 2.00

Coupon off your next Shopping Order. Lots of printable out there available for Grands. Combine them with the Shortcuts loadable. With any luck, they will go on sale again soon.

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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

BBQ Pulled Pork, crock pot recipe

5-6 lbs boston butt
6 tablespoons cider vinegar, divided
1/4 cup barbecue seasoning
2 tablespoons brown sugar

Trim pork roast of as much visible fat as possible.
Wet the roast all over with half of the vinegar.
Rub all the seasonings into the meat.
Place into crock pot, set on low and cook for at least 5 hours, preferably 8.
When it’s falling off the bone, pour off MOST of the liquid.
Pull out the bone and take off any remaining chunks of fat that you can see. Add the other half of the vinegar.
Pull pork into chunks, but don’t completely shred.
Add equal the amounts of barbecue sauce and the brown sugar, and fold into the shredded meat to combine.
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Free Shipping at Children's Place


I was at the store today looking for size 6x/7x clothing for my son. They informed me that they do not sell X sizes in the store, only online. They really want your business though so if you can not find it in the store, they will give you a coupon for FREE shipping. Just ask. This would be great to save for a clearance sale.

This is great for me. I can not wait for clearance, maybe a sale though. My kids need pants and if I MUST order, free shipping REALLY helps.

For more great tips like this, visit We Are That Family.


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Sunday, September 13, 2009

Menu Plan Monday




Monday
B: Overnight Yeast Oatmeal Waffles
D: Chicken Cutlets, Corn Bread Casserole

Tuesday
B: French Toast

Wednesday
D: Bacon Wrapped Pork Loin, Potato Casserole (Alison's Recipe)

Thursday
B: Fruit/Yogurt Parfait
D: Home Made Pizza

Friday (My Birthday ~ the big 40)
B: Eggs, 1 strip bacon, toast
D: Kielbasa Soup

Saturday
B: Eggs, Bacon, Hash Browns, mini Bagels
L: Hotdogs, beans
D: Dinner and a Movie (4 My Birthday)

Sunday
B: Waffles
L: Hamburgers
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Friday, September 11, 2009

The solution to a Home Phone number




Ever since we recently relocated to another state, we debated over the expense of a house phone. Our last home phone was nothing more than an answering service. Everybody who needs to use a phone in our house has a cell. Anybody who we really needed to speak to us ASAP had those cell numbers and knew to use them. So that left our poor old answering machine sometimes with 20 messages waiting. Once we moved, we tried to do without a land line. None of us wanted to change our long established phone numbers. Not having a local number was becoming and issue. For me job searching. For school's records. Who's phone would be put as the "HOME" number?

That is when we discovered Google Voice. Though Google voice we have a local phone number. We record this phone number as our "HOME" number on our various forms. Whenever somebody calls us, the call is directed to my cell phone. The message that may result is also sent to our computers.

The cost? Nothing. So without anybody ever realizing we don't have a land line ~ our problems are solved.
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Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Saving money on after school activities



I signed my children up for several activities this season.

1) Soccer
2) Taekwondo
3) Boy Scouts

Soccer was only $30 to join. Boy Scouts was only $10. Taekwondo is $55 a month (a necessary expense). It never occurred to me that I would have to spend a fortune on uniforms and camping gear until my dear husband pointed it out to me. At first I was mad. Darn it, I don't have a fortune to spend and I really wanted them to be able to participate.

So with my challenge clearly laid out ahead of me, I set on my path of creatively finding what I needed for allot less.

1) My first stop was to call friends who may have equipment they no longer needed and willing to part with. I received allot of great tips and suggestions this route. Family member with a tent maybe, where to find the greatest sleeping bags, even a spare Karate uniform.

2) I then visited our local thrift shops. Found 2 pairs of soccer shorts for each child in plain black for a whopping $1.25 total at an 80% off summer clearance sale. I got lucky with brand new Soccer shoes for my kids in their sizes ($20 for two). Soccer was all set (Jerseys are handed out by the club).

3) I visited a consignment shop and found so great nylon/fleece clothes for camping for my son (including a great Jacket). Secured some great fleece PJ's too.

4) My next stop was to shop the online sales for Labor Day. Found a $60 mummy style sleeping bag for $20 with free shopping (one day only sale). No luck on the husbands bag yet but I'm confident I'll get there soon.

5) Finally I'm bidding on Ebay for things like new hiking boots for my son and Under Armour clothes for both. Under Armor type garments run about $60 a piece here. I'll secure these sets for $30 total.

So far I have not spent more than $71.25 bucks and I'm very pleased with how prepared we are.

If you would like to find any other great money and time saving tips visit wearethatfamily.
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Monday, September 7, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

Our Family come up with a new system. My children generally hate what I cook. They dislike almost everything. Plus my son's teacher said my son was having trouble focusing at school. Not eyes focus but paying attention. So just like the cereal commercial, I decided his habit of not eating breakfast had to end. I now get up an entire hour earlier to cook a full breakfast. The reason my kids wont eat breakfast is they get up late and are not ready to eat. To fix that they go to bed an hour earlier and now get up an hour earlier. Our whole loves have been disrupted with a new "Family Routine". So far, its working.

Long story short, my kids have been allowed to just have cereal for dinner as long as its eaten at the family table. I will still cook for my husband and I. I am also trying to add more fruits and veggies in our breakfasts/dinners.

Sunday: Meatloaf/Mashed Potatoes

Monday:
Breakfast - Waffles & 1/2 banana
Dinner - Leftover Meatloaf sliced and warmed in gravy/Buttered noodles (see Alison's Post)

Tuesday:
Breakfast - Cheesecake Pancakes w/Strawberry Sauce
Dinner - Beef Stew with dumplings (an old family way of making stew, similar to chicken and dumplings)

Wednesday:
Breakfast - Scrambled Egg, Toast, strip of Bacon
Dinner - Beef Pot Pie (made from stew leftovers)

Thursday:
Breakfast - Fruit/Yogurt/Granola Parfait
Dinner - Marinaded Chicken Breasts / Corn Souffle

Friday:
Breakfast - French Toast & 1/2 banana
Dinner - Bacon wrapped Pork Loin, sliced potatoes

Saturday:
Breakfast - Waffles
Lunch - Hot Wings/Mac and Cheese/Celery
Dinner - Out

Sunday:
Breakfast - Eggs, Hash Browns, bacon, toast
Lunch - Vegatarian Pasta E. Fagioli Soup/Bread
Dinner - Baked Ziti
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Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Make Ahead Convenience Foods - Freezer Meals


This is the article that started it all for me personally. The article calls it Investment Cooking. I had gotten in the habit of haphazardly making things as I needed to. You know, stand in front of the fridge/freezer way too late wondering what's for dinner. My make ahead items I had traditionally done had fallen by the wayside. I'm a SAHM, I had time to cook now right? I LOVE to cook right? Well truth is, kids occupy most of the after school time. Saving a few steps is a wonderful idea and I needed to get back and improve on this concept. This article was just what I needed and pretty much changed my life. I waited for the first sale and bought 4 five pound rolls of ground beef .
  • One roll changed into 20 fresh pressed hamburgers (seasoned to my liking).
  • Second changed into 4 meat loaf's (I have 4 extra of the same metal loaf pan I use).
  • Third changed into EIGHTY meatballs.
  • Fourth changed into 5 one pound servings of Ground Beef Base (includes 2 onions and 6 cloves of garlic).
I was not sure at first about the Ground Beef Base. But let me assure you, this turns out to be such a convenience. Chili, Hamburger Helper, Taco meat, start of Enchilada filling, Casseroles. You name it. Already done and ready. Its so nice. Be sure to lay your hamburgers and meatballs out on a cookie sheet and freeze at the bottom of your deep freezer. The final frozen product can then put placed in a ziploc and your food wont stick. This allows you to take out individual servings. Bloggy mommas everywhere were calling this Flash Freezing. My husband assures me that this is not technically "Flash Freezing". Hey, it works regardless of what you want to call it.

Then I went and purchased two whole chickens. They were placed in the crock pot with about 2 cups of water and a few bouillon cubes. From that I got:
  • 4 or 5 bags chicken meat to freeze
  • and 8 cups of chicken stock (that I froze flat in one cup portions in smaller freezer bags).
From that the ideas exploded.
  • Every time I made taco meat, I'd freeze half.
  • Every time I made Bolognese sauce, I'd double the batch and save 4 serving bags for other meals (say ziti, lasagna, etc).
  • Enchilada's are another dish that is easy to make two of and freeze half.
If I manage to find some manager special chicken or pork, I'll marinade those ahead and freeze them with the marinade in a zip lock bag. You can look at my post here to find my favorite pork marinade recipes. And on occasion Kroger will have an excellent sale with $1 marinades that I can match a coupon too. I use those for chicken and occasionally beef.

This method turned out so successful for our family that I now provide this make ahead service to my sister.




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