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Kroger Sale 2-8-12 and Receipe

Whaaahooo…one of my favorite items is one sale at Kroger. I will be ad matching it at Walmart.

Asparagus is $.99 per lb now here’s one of our favorite dishes to use it in:

Pasta (just about any type will do – I use what’s on hand and I keep plenty stocked) 1 lb
1 bunch Asparagus
1 8 oz block smoked swiss/guyere cheese cut into small cubes
1 small bag of frozen peas
1 thick slice of ham (if I don’t have any leftover ham I will go to the deli and get any smoked ham and have them cut it on their thickest slice)

Cook pasta until ad dente (just follow the directions and make sure and take a test bite so you don’t over-cook it) pull pasta out of water and put into very large ceramic bowl and cover with foil to keep warm and put cheese cubes over pasta to melt while doing the rest, DO NOT DRAIN OR THROW OUT PASTA WATER, snap the ends off the asparagus then cut into bite sized pieces put the asparagus AND the frozen peas into the pasta water. Cook 4 1/2 to 5 minutes but not more than that or you ruin the asparagus. Now just BEFORE you put the veggies in to boil and lightly cook cut your ham into bite sized cubes and either heat up by sauteing or microwaving. Combine asparagus, peas and ham with pasta and if needed in small ladle amounts add in some of the pasta water to thin out the cheese a little to make it easier to work with the whole dish. Serve and enjoy.

 

February 8, 2012 Posted by | Food and Cooking | | Leave a comment

Crisp Mandrin Salad

In need of something fresh and crisp and craving citrus all at the same time we needed something not so heavy on our tummies since we were all just getting over the stomach flu, so I came up with this and it worked very well. Nice and light and not to heavy.

Romaine lettuce
Canned mandrin orange slices in syrup/light NOT sugar free (it changes the taste of the salad)
Bananas
Crushed walnuts
Ken’s steakhouse Raspberry Walnut Vineagrette

Fully drain mandrin slices, combine with lettuce, sliced bananas (these are optional but we liked it) and crushed walnuts. For a salad for 4 people you only need 2 tablespoons or 3 at best for the entire salad. You only want just enough to just very lightly coat and nothing in the bottom of the dish. Mix well and enjoy.

For a little change up I also had this for lunch yesterday and added some cubed chicken that I mixed in a little salt, pepper and Italian seasonings and then a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil and I quick pan fried until done but not crispy to retain all the taste and moisture. I just threw the chicken in and mixed well and it was awesome!

 

January 31, 2012 Posted by | Food and Cooking | Leave a comment

Evaporated Milk conversion

If you are making a recipe and would rather not use the tons of milk it calls for, example Hamburger Helper calls for lots of milk, here is a short note on converting it back to regular milk to make using the canned version more budget friendly.

Take 1 cup of evaporated milk and add back in enough water to equal 2 1/4 cups.

Hope this helps for those with small budgets.

January 17, 2012 Posted by | Food and Cooking | Leave a comment

One Meat Purchase – Lots of meals

So if you buy the leaner ground meat here’s how you can get your true money’s worth out of it.

First of all for those who would tell me it’s too expensive for the extra lean even 90/10 let me remind you when you buy 80/20, the 20% of that package is going out in the trash which is like throwing money in the garbage.

If you buy a 2lb or a little more package of 90/10, you can make meatballs (see my recipe for ingredients and instructions it’s easy) for the first meal and then home-made hamburger helper out of the rest.

Same amount of meat scenario #2: 1/2 package for tacos and rest of the package meatloaf

I usually get 2 meals for our family of 4 out of each package I buy. If I really want to stretch it I will buy a matching amount of ground turkey and mix it equal parts. For meatballs, and I make big meal sized meatballs nothing tiny that is a waste of my time, I use 1/2 of the good burger and 1/2 of the ground turkey and get enough for 2 to 3 meals of meatballs out of that. I take the extras and wrap them in freezer paper and freeze them for another night.

If you really want a good deal on your meat, go early in the morning like 8:30 to 9:30 and check for the manager’s specials on meat, chicken, pork, you name it. All fresh meat, chicken, pork, etc. has to be “sold by” a certain date or they can’t sell it at all. What that means for the consumer is you get prime products at a reduced price and for me I wrap it all in freezer paper and label it and put it in the freezer for future meals.

Happy Shopping

August 25, 2011 Posted by | Food and Cooking | Leave a comment

Cheaper way to afford Bacon

We love our bacon in our household. We/I do not love the price tag it comes with. I tried something new last week after my hubby requested squash casserole (which requires bacon) so I bought a 4lb package of Wright brand ends and pieces for $6.99. That package worked so well we even had breakfast off of it Sunday morning as well. The only difference between that package and a package of bacon that would normally cost me $14.00 or more is that some of the pieces were thicker which makes them perfect for a pot of beans.

I did check at Wal-Mart and did not find any of this anywhere, I bought mine at our local chain that I will only call “k” and will buy the next package at our local HEB market since I know I’ve seen it there as well.

Next week is payday, plan to buy a couple of these packages for fall dishes and some breakfasts as well.

August 3, 2011 Posted by | Food and Cooking, How To Shop and Save Lots of Money | Leave a comment

Home-made Hamburger Helper

My wonderful hubby was wanting to try his hand at making a home-made version of Hamburger Helper one night and ever since it has been a cheap hit without all the preservatives. Simple recipe and budget friendly:

Feeds 4 well
1 to 1.5 pounds lean ground beef
1 can cream of mushroom soup
2/3 can milk
1/2 package extra wide egg noodles

Brown ground beef, drain any fat off (with lean beef you can get 2 meals out of 2 pounds due to the no fat content). Pour in soup and rinse out can with the 2/3 can of milk. Boil egg noodles separately and when ready drain and add in. Salt and pepper to taste. Yum

NOTE: best time of year to shop for soups is Sept and Nov when they go on mega sales at all markets for the holidays. I stocked up heavily last Nov at the beginning of the month and still have plenty. I also still have a good bit of the 3 cases of Swanson’s chicken broth that I got super cheap and I use it all the time.

July 14, 2011 Posted by | Food and Cooking | 1 Comment

Quick and Easy and cheap Carbonara

If you’re wondering “what is carbonara” I’ll break it down. Basically it’s bacon, eggs, some cream, cheese and pasta

I saw one of my favorite chefs try this and made it last night. It was another hit.

Cut bacon (it’s way cheaper than pancetta) into 1 inch chunks and render or fry down to get all the fat out. I added in zucchini and yellow squash quartered and diced bite size. Boil your pasta of choice, while it’s boiling use about 1 egg per person and put it all in one bowl. For my family 4 eggs, a large handful about 2/3  to 1 cup of good parmiganno reggiano finely grated cheese, about 1 to 2 tablespoons of cream (or I personally use half-and-half to make it a little lighter) per person. A dash of sea salt but not much since the cheese is very salty, dash of ground pepper. Mix and beat well but not frothy and when the pasta is done DO NOT DRAIN IT YOU WILL NEED THE WATER, put the pasta into the frying pan and mix well. Now slowly add in the egg mixture and keep mixing in the pan and to keep the eggs from getting too sticky due to the cream and cheese add in a ladle or 2 until you get the creamy texture you want.

Serve hot.

May 12, 2011 Posted by | Food and Cooking | Leave a comment

Beef and Mushrooms with Steamed Veggies

Easy dinner and budget friendly.

1 package button muchrooms sliced
Take some of that leftover ground beef you have in the fridge
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1/2 can milk
salt & pepper
Fresh/frozen veggies of your choice
1 can biscuits (optional)

Sautee mushrooms in a small amount of butter and 2 to 3 tablespoons of olive oil
crumble leftover ground beef and add in to mushrooms once sauteed
add in 1 can cream of mushroom soup
add is 1/2 can of milk
mix together well

Steam fresh/frozen veggies
If using biscuits spoon mixture over biscuits if not using biscuits serve with steamed veggies and enjoy

April 6, 2011 Posted by | Food and Cooking | Leave a comment

Italian for Cheap…Yum

So found a recipe and tweaked it for my group. NO leftovers and very filling combine that with a very short ingredient list and you have a winner.

1 jar pasta sauce (I always buy and use Great Value onions and garlic, it’s one of the rare items I will make the walmart trip for)
1 package Johnsonville Italian sausage
1 box Rigatoni pasta
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon garlic (or 3 cloves)

Cook pasta and sausage according to package directions. Remove sausage from pan and rinse pan (if you don’t rinse your pan you will burn the garlic and hate the dish due to bitterness). In the sausage pan combine the olive oil with garlic for a few seconds or minute DO NOT BURN THE GARLIC! Pour the pasta sauce into the pan with the garlic, bring to temp now cut up the sausage and add to the sauce. Meanwhile your pasta is done, drain and put into a large bowl and when the sauce is hot (should only take a few minutes at most) pour over pasta. Mix well and serve.

Simple and easy. The cheapest place I have found to get any Johnsonville sausage is walmart and watch for the rare coupons. I got mine cheap with several $1 off each package coupons so $2.98 each package.

February 25, 2011 Posted by | Food and Cooking | | Leave a comment

Menus for cheap

We have a new pay schedule therefore; we don’t get paid for another week and a half so here’s our basic cheap menu based on as little budget as possible and full tummys too.

It’s amazing what you can do with hamburger and keep it fresh so everyone loves it.

Sunday * cheeseburgers (bought the good cheese slices cheap at Kroger Mega sale for $.99 per mega package <> bought 8 packages and froze 6)
Monday * chicken piccata (already had the chicken so nice change up)
Tuesday * taco night
Wednesday * meatball stew
Thursday * Mom’s surprise
Friday * clean the frig night all the leftovers get eaten and my night off from cooking
Saturday * chicken baked
Sunday * whole baked chicken
Monday * meatballs and spaghetti
Tuesday * salisbury steaks with veggies

The only items purchased for it all was the burger. Had already purchased the chicken a few weeks ago and divided it all up and wrapped it all in freezer paper (cheaper than freezer bags and no frost-bite on food), salisbury steaks bought at mega sale, veggies same and the sauce.

This week I will be watching the ads like a hawk to see what meats go on sale and other items to help me overstock for the entire summer when kiddos are home and keep us on budget since then we have chemical expenses for pool to keep up with. We will have a good time and do it all cheaper and the kids are loving life each day with Mommy’s fabulous coupon shopping.

I will post my menus and the rull recipes by the end of the week for everyone. They are all in-expensive and good tummy fillers and that counts for growing children and hungry families on tight budgets.

February 15, 2011 Posted by | Food and Cooking, Life | | Leave a comment