Friday, March 26, 2010

Menu time

Well it's past menu time but here's what we've been eating this week: 

Lasagna with french bread
Tuna cakes
Chicken pockets
Salsa Chicken burritos
Ham and bean soup
Baked Ham and scalloped potatoes
Ham and noodle casserole

It's been yummy so far and I will be posting the recipes soon!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Twilight Cupcakes

Ok so I know this isn't exactly a saving money post...but it's still food related. My neighbor is having a Twilight party tonight for the release of New Moon on DVD. So I thought I'd make some fun treats to bring to the party. Werewolf and Vampire cupcakes. If you want how to pictures check out for the werewolf ones and  for the vampire ones. 

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

So I know I haven't updated in a few weeks. I actually haven't gone grocery shopping for anything more than bread, milk, eggs and small other day to day items since the last time that I posted. All of that extra meat that I bought on my last shopping trip really helped. We also have had a family party, date night and pizza night, so I haven't had to make dinner everynight. I haven't posted any new recipes because I haven't really made anything exciting to share. Just typical Tuna casserole, chicken casserole, chicken soup and grilled roast beef and swiss cheese sandwhich type things.

I have also been frustrated because the past two weeks I have not gotten my grocery store ads in the mail. So I was lost. If I don't have my ads I can't make my menu! But since my pantry is running low and my fridge and freezer and near empty I need to menu plan.....tomorrow since tonight we are eating Irish at my mother-in-law's house!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Going European

Mediterranean Herbed Tenderloin and French Rice

I bought a Hormel Tenderloin that was already marinating in Mediterranean Herbs and olive oil. So I just popped it in the oven and made some rice to go with it. I found this recipe for French Rice that was pretty good. 

1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups of long grain rice
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
1/8 to 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)

In a saucepan, bring 2 1/2 cups of water to a boil. Add 1/2 tsp salt and the rice. Turn heat to low, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit 5 minutes. Uncover and fluff with a fork. In a large bowl, whisk lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, oregano, pepper, pepper flakes and remaining salt. Add rice and toss to combine.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Spaghetti with Turkey Meatballs

I used and altered version of Giada De Laurentis' recipe for turkey meatballs. 
1 small onion
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 large egg
1/4 cup of dried bread crumbs
3 Tbsp ketcup
1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley (you can get this at most grocery stores and it's not expensive)
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 lb ground turkey 
3 Tbsp olive oil 
Simple Red sauce (recipe follows)

Add the onion, garlic, egg, bread crumbs, ketchup, parsley, Parmesan, Pecorino, salt and pepper to a large bowl and blend. Mix in the turkey. Shape the turkey mixture into 1 1/4-inch-diameter meatballs.Place into your crockpot. Then add the tomato sauce. Cook on low for 7 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.

When the meatballs are cooked through, cook the Whole Grain Spaghetti noodles as per package directions and then drain them and added them to the crock pot.

Red Sauce

1 large onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
2 large cloves of garlic, finely chopped
2 (14oz) cans of diced tomatoes Italian style, undrained
1 (8 oz) can mushroom pieces and stems, drained (optional, I don't use this)
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 Tbsp chopped fresh or 1 tsp dried basil leaves
1 tsp salt

Cook beef, onion and garlic in a skillet over med heat until beef is brown; drain. Stir in remaining ingredients. Heat to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer 10 minutes.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Chunky Chicken Soup

Here's the recipe of the day:

Chunky Chicken Soup

1/2 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, cooked and cubed
1 can of chicken broth
2 cups of water
2 cups assorted vegetables (such as sliced carrots, bell peppers, broccoli florets etc. You can use fresh, frozen or canned vegetables. I used Broccoli florets, red bell pepper, yellow squash and asparagus)
1 envelope of Italian dressing mix
1 cup MINUTE rice or small shell pasta
2 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped 

Stir together all ingredients except the parsley in a large pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cover; Simmer until pasta is tender. Stir in parsley. Remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes. 

This soup was tasty though not as good as chicken soup that you cook all day. When you're short on time it's a great dinner fix.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Shopping Day

So I got my week's shopping done today. I went to two stores this week Fresh Market and Smith's. 
So here's my menu for the week:

Spaghetti with Turkey Meatballs
Beef Roast with Mashed potatoes
Chicken tenders with Potato wedges
Pork Tenderloin with noodles
Tuna casserole
Chunky Chicken and Vegetable Soup
Chicken and rice casserole

As always I went to my pantry firstand then made my shopping list for the remaining foods I need to complete my meals. My shopping list for this week's menu is: 

Fresh Market
1 box of Barilla Whole Grain Pasta (shells) $0.88
1 dozen large eggs  $1.50
2.15 lb Beef Roast  $7.50
1 lb Ground Turkey $1.57
1.61 lb Chicken Tenders $2.88
1.7 lb Hormel Pork Loin Mediterranean Herbs and Olive Oil $5.99
1 lb Cheddar Cheese $3.99
1.05 lb Asparagus $2.09
3 Yellow onions $0.86
Western Family Frozen Orange Juice  FREE

Total: $27.26


Red Pepper  $1.50
Garlic  $0.39
Yellow Squash  $0.69
1.25 lb Broccoli  $1.24
2 cans of Chicken of the Sea Tuna $1.00
2 gallons of milk  $3.33
1 lb Land o Lakes Lunch Meat  $2.99
4 lb bag of frozen chicken breasts $5.99
1 box of fruit loops $1.67

Total: $22.13

Grand Total: $49.39

A couple of notes here. I got free orange juice by using a coupon from the Fresh Market ad. When I bought 1 dozen eggs I got the orange juice.
Also at Smith's when you bought four boxes of Kellogg's cereal you got two gallons of milk for free. As you can see I only have one box of cereal in the list and a price beside the milk. Since we will only eat part of one box of cereal in a week my need for the week is one box not four. I bought all four to get the free milk but the other three boxes will go into the pantry to use another week.So the list here only reflects what I will use this week, not nescessarily what I bought (I'll talk more about this is a minute). To figure out the price of the milk I just figured that I bought 6 items for $10 (four boxes of cereal plus the two free gallon of milk) so divide $10 by 6 items and you get a price of $1.67 each.

Ok I as I mentioned before I bought more than I needed for the week. This is how I stock my pantry and how I have things on hand that I can use in later weeks. When there is a great sale on something that I use frequently I buy more of that item and store it in the pantry or freezer. That way when I need it I have it and paid typically less for it then I would if I bought it later and it wasn't on sale. 

Also most of the time if you buy an item in bulk it saves you more money than if you buy a smaller portion. For instance I will only use about half of the 3.22 lb of chicken tenders that I actually bought this week (which is why only half of that is reflected in my shopping list), but had I only bought 1.5 lb of chicken tenders I would have probably paid nearly $3 or $4 dollars a pound. This way I paid more this week but I can use rest of the chicken next week and save some money.

Most of the grocery stores have twice yearly Case lot sales. This is a great opportunity to take some of the money you have been saving on groceries each week and stock your pantry. I like to buy things like diced tomatoes, black beans and baking goods (flour, sugar, chocolate chips etc....)

If you want a list of "pantry/freezer" items that I bought so you can get an idea of how much I spent on those items here it is: 

1.61 lb chicken tenders  $2.88
3 lb Ground Turkey (it came in a 4 lb package)  $4.71
4 cans of chicken of the sea tuna  $2.00
Kraft salad dressing $2.50
3 boxes of cereal  $5.00
Pork roast  $6.03

Total: 23.12

So in all I spent $73.02 but I can use the meat in those pantry/freezer items for 7 more meals. It was worth it to spend a little more this week to save more later.