Going into the slow cooker for dinner tonight...Three Packet Pot Roast!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

It's a fairly gray and overcast day today, so I'm feeling in the mood for something substantial and "homey" for dinner tonight.  Bring on the pot roast and mashed potatoes!

This one is really easy, and uses basic stuff from your food storage.

Three Packet Pot Roast
1 envelope Italian dressing mix
1 envelope ranch dressing mix (you can see I've used my homemade mix here - 1 Tbsp.)
1 can beef broth (or you can use 1 envelope brown gravy mix + 1 cup water)
3lb pot roast (or thereabouts)

Stick it all in the slow cooker and let it go until tender!

I'm working with a frozen pot roast this morning, so my slow cooker is on high, but I will turn it down to low after about an hour or so, when the roast has thawed. 

What I'm Buying - Walmart Price-Matching 11/18

Monday, November 18, 2013
This week and next week will have some GREAT sales at the grocery stores in preparation for Thanksgiving! 

Every year at PinchingYourPennies, we do a comparison list of some of the common Thanksgiving meal ingredients and how all the sale prices match up across stores, so you can easily see at a glance what the best price is (and where) for each item.  As I was working on updating the list last night for the new sales ads starting today, I ran across several deals that I didn't want to miss.  But with three kids at home (we're on year-round school and are currently "off-track") there was NO WAY I was going to cart all of them to multiple stores without having a nervous breakdown.  So I opted to make one quick stop at Walmart and price-match!

Here's what I picked up:


(1) #10 can butter powder, 18.63 (good price, considering the same can online is 29.95)
(1) ground mustard powder, 3.83 (for food storage - running low on current one)
(1) ground turmeric, 4.98 (also for food storage - we use a lot of this in our favorite curry recipe)
(4) Libby's canned veggies, price matched to .50 (Macey's) and .25 after a 1.00/4 coupon
(6) GV frozen veggies, price matched to .79 (Macey's)
(14) GV whole berry cranberry sauce, price matched to .50 (Macey's - killer deal!)
(4) Silk Pure Almond milk, price matched to 2.49 (Smith's) and 2.15 after coupons
(6) GV powdered confectioner's sugar 2lb, price matched to .88 (Macey's)
(2) mini peeled carrots 2lb, price matched to 1.98 (Macey's)
(8) GV granulated sugar 4lb, price matched to 1.25 (Macey's)
(4) Challenge butter 1lb, price matched to 1.99 (Smith's) and 1.24 after coupons
(2) loaves GV wheat bread, 1.38 (hate having to pay for bread, but no time to make it myself this week)

Total:  $78.03

Minus the butter powder and the two spices, you're looking at only about $50 for all the rest of the groceries - not bad at all! 

This is the ONE time of the year when canned cranberry sauce goes on sale.  No, I do not use 14 cans worth on Thanksgiving (I actually make sauce from fresh cranberries for Thanksgiving), but I do use the canned stuff in a really great and really easy chicken recipe and in a salad or  side-dish occasionally, so I stock up each fall for my year's supply.  Now is also a great time to stock up on baking items, canned/boxed broth, stuffing mix and canned yams and pumpkin.  Still waiting for the best deal on canned pumpkin - that's the last thing left to get on my stock up list from the Thanksgiving sales!

Food Storage Meal - Ham Fried Rice

Tonight's meal comes courtesy of our food storage and some leftovers in the refrigerator!  :)  About once a month I will cook extra rice with a meal (we have a 10-cup Zojirushi rice cooker and LOVE it to death!!!!) so we have some ready specifically to make this meal.  It's comes together very quickly - even quicker when I just pull out some diced ham from the freezer.  We seem to be having a bit of a stomach bug going around today, so I didn't fix anything else to go with it.  But I don't know that you necessarily need anything else with it - it's got a meat, dairy, grain and vegetables all in one easy dish!  Tonight I also mixed up a box of brownie mix, and since I am running low on eggs, I used my powdered eggs instead of fresh.  ;)


Ham Fried Rice

1 c. diced cooked ham (I buy extra hams at Thanksgiving/Christmas and Easter, and then dice them up and store in Foodsaver bags in the freezer)
1/4 c. butter (can use oil instead if no fresh butter)
1 medium onion, finely chopped (I use 2 Tbsp. minced onions)
4 c. cooked rice
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
3 Tbsp soy sauce (yes, I keep this stuff in my food storage)
3 eggs (can use powdered eggs or powdered scrambled egg mix)
1-2 c. frozen peas & carrots mix

Melt butter in skillet; add meat and onion and cook 3 minutes.  Add rice, salt, pepper and soy sauce.  Mix thoroughly.  Stir in beaten eggs and frozen vegetables, and cook 5-10 minutes until rice is no longer "wet" and vegetables are heated through (or you can cook veggies in a separate pot or in microwave and then add at the end).

Food Storage Entree - Pesto Ranch Chicken

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

I bring you...Pesto Ranch Chicken!

You'll need:
  • 8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 6 oz jar of pesto
  • 1 pkg ranch dressing mix
  • 1/2 c. chicken broth
That's it!  That's all there is!  Place the chicken thighs in the bottom of your crock pot.  Pour the pesto over the top and then sprinkle on the dressing mix.  Carefully add in the broth (so you don't wash all the pesto off the chicken).  Cook on low for 6-8 hrs or on high for about 4 hrs.

Tonight I served it with garlic smashed potatoes, green salad and Parker House rolls (I totally forgot to add them in to the picture). 

For the ranch dressing mix in the chicken, I used my homemade Hidden Valley-ish dry ranch mix.  And the ranch dressing on the green salad is from the BYU Creamery ranch dressing mix.  You can find the recipes for both of these mixes HERE.

What I'm Buying - Smith's 11/6

Wednesday, November 6, 2013
It has been a LONG time since I have done one of these posts.  I feel like the grocery sales and the coupons just haven't really been that good for the last six months or so.  Just kinda "so-so", and so I haven't really felt like there was much to post about.  :(  Well, I guess I could lament the fact that my grocery bill seems to get higher every month, even WITH coupons and price matching... I miss the days when I could get out of Smith's or Albertson's with a cart full of groceries for about $40.  These days, I'm lucky if I can make it out of Smith's with half a cart full and for under $100.  Boo!

But this week has been FABULOUS for some great stock-up sales so far!!!

Monday found me at three different stores - Walmart (to price match), then Harmon's (because WM didn't have some of the things I wanted to price match) and Smiths to catch the end of last week's sale.  I was able to score several packages of boneless skinless chicken breasts for 1.29/lb!!!  (I ALWAYS seem to miss the meat markdowns, so this was a rare score for me.)

At Harmon's this week, they've got Western Family canned tomatoes and canned beans for .39 each when you buy in multiples of 10!  And their Western Family ketchup is only .69 as part of that same promo!!!  One of the BEST deals was the Blue Diamond Almond Milk (we have family members with dairy allergies) half-gallons for 1.67 - WOW!!!!  (They were 1.40 after coupon - lowest I've EVER paid for that stuff!)

Here's what I got at Smith's today:

 
 
It's another Mega Event sale at Smiths - buy 10 items and save $5.

(6) Huggies jumbo packs diapers, on sale 8.99 (ranged from 6.49 to 7.49 with coupons, BUT you also get a $5 Catalina coupon wyb 2 in one transaction)
(4) Mott's apple juice 64oz, on sale 2.49 (1.99 after promo, .99 after coupon)
(8) C&H sugar 4lb, on sale 2.49 (1.99 after promo, 1.49-1.59 after coupon)
(4) Gillette Satin Care shave gel, on sale 1.99 (1.49 after promo, .49 after coupon)
(1) Kraft mayo, on sale 3.49 (2.99 after promo)
(4) Challenge butter 1lb, on sale 2.49 (1.99 after promo)
(2) Land O Lakes butter 1lb, on sale 2.49 (1.99 after promo)
(4) Ronzoni Garden Delight pasta, on sale .99 (.49 after promo, FREE after coupon)
(5) Stove Top stuffing mix, on sale 1.49 (.99 after promo)
(4) Betty Crocker cake mix, on sale 1.49 (.99 after promo, .57 after coupon)
(1) Ronzoni HealthyHarvest spaghetti, on sale .99 (.49 after promo, FREE after coupon)
(2) Ocean Spray canned cranberry sauce, on sale 1.49 (.99 after promo)
(4) Campbell's cream of mushroom soup, on sale .99 (.49 after promo, .29 after coupon)
(6) Campbell's cream of chicken soup, on sale .99 (.49 after promo, .29 after coupon)
(4) Hormel chili, on sale 1.49 (.99 after promo, .49-.72 after coupon)
(1) Kraft Philadelphia cream cheese tub, on sale 1.79 (1.29 after promo, .79 after coupon)
(3) Classico pasta sauce, on sale 1.99 (1.49 after promo, .89 after coupon)
(3) Heinz gravy, on sale 1.29 (.79 after promo)
(10) American Beauty pasta, on sale .99 (.49 after promo)
Granny smith apples, on sale .99/lb
Red delicious apples, on sale .99/lb
Bartlett pears, on sale .99/lb

To get the deal on the diapers, I had to do three different transactions, to roll the Catalina coupons. 

AND, even more savings -
     *The gravy bottles have a coupon under the label for 1.00/2 jars.
     *The butter has coupons inside for .75 off any Challenge product.
     *The Catalina machine also spit out a coupon for 1.50 off any 5 Campbell's soups!

Total:  $106.75 + I still have one $5 Catalina coupon

(Only about $71 if you leave out the diapers!)

Blog vs RSS vs Facebook vs Twitter

Sunday, November 3, 2013
Ever feel like there are just too many media "mediums" to have to follow?  I'm incredibly upset that Google got rid of their Reader for RSS feeds.  I haven't found anything else I like quite as much, and so I have not been following any blogs lately because I no longer have an RSS feed on my home page. 

And THEN, as if that wasn't insult enough, Google decides to get rid of the iGoogle home pages!!!  So now I don't have a handy page where I can go to see my email, news feeds, other feeds, etc. all at once.  CURSE YOU GOOGLE!  :(  I'm a very dissatisfied customer...  (And no, NetVibes isn't quite the same.)

I have picked up a few of the RSS feeds that I used to follow in Google Reader by liking the pages in Facebook, but now my Facebook feed is constantly clogged with all of those additional posts.  At least with the reader I could pick and choose which posts I wanted to read and which I wanted to skip.  Even worse on my phone, because FB shows me EVERYTHING in my feed - people's comments, like, etc.  I've tried adjusting most of the settings I know of, but it still makes for a very clogged new feed.

Which brings me to a dilemma.  I've been posting more of the food storage stuff on my Facebook page because it seems to draw more readers.  And it is easier to stick up shorter, faster posts.  But then I feel like I'm leaving out all those who follow on the blog.  But if I post on the blog AND on FB, then everyone on FB gets a double dose of the posts and it turns into spam.  What to do???

Help me out!  Do you prefer following the posts on FB or the blog site?  Is it too confusing if I post some to one and not on the other?  (For example, short updates on FB, but not on the blog site.)  Do you follow the blog with an RSS reader?  What can I do to make these posts more accessible to you as a reader?  (Just don't say Twitter - the bird and I are NOT friends...)

(Mostly) Food Storage Recipe - Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins with Cream Cheese Topping

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Having pre-made muffin mix around is becoming dangerous to my waist-line...  ;)

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins with Cream Cheese Topping

3 eggs (or use 3 Tbsp egg powder and 6 Tbsp water)
3 tsp vanilla
2 cups water
3/4 cup vegetable or canola oil
5 1/2 cups Universal Muffin Mix
2 cups pumpkin puree
1 Tbsp pumpkin pie spice
3 cups mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Beat eggs in bowl; add vanilla, water and oil.  Add dry muffin mix and stir to combine.  Then gently stir in pumpkin, pie spice and chocolate chips - mix just until combined.  Fill muffin tin that has been sprayed with non-stick spray.  (I use a 2oz disher/scoop, it is the perfect size.) In separate bowl, beat together the following:

2 (8oz) pkg cream cheese
2 eggs
1/2 sugar

Drop cream cheese topping by rounded tablespoon on top of each muffin.

Bake 18-20 minutes.

Makes 2 dozen large (and incredibly tasty) muffins.  Nothing says fall quite like pumpkin and chocolate chips!

Okay, so the topping part isn't necessarily food storage, because of the cream cheese and fresh eggs, but these are still good WITHOUT the topping, and that part IS all from food storage!  ;)