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Thursday, March 29, 2012

Frugal Friday--Shop in the Store Order

To keep going with the theme of the past few Frugal Fridays we are sticking with the grocery store a few more weeks.  There's so much to be done.  So many ways to save.  I don't want you to miss out on any of the tricks I've learned.

I'd love to hear from anyone else who knows something I've not mentioned.  I promise not to turn you into a guest blogger, unless you'd like to do that.  :)

The title tells you what I'm yammering on about today; that you should shop in the order of the store.  We'll have to use my HEB as the guide.  Please know that your store may vary its order and that my store no longer is in this order and I need to completely revamp the way I build my list, but I'm waiting until they are finished with the remodel.  Every week when we walk in J says, "Something new and different every week."  I'm looking forward to the day when things are settled again.

Anyway, my store starts with produce so as I write things down on my list I start with produce, then breads, condiments and peanut butter.  Next up is meat.  So if mid-week I've realized I need to pick up peanut butter I will go down to the 5th or 6th line of my tablet and write that down leaving plenty of space above for produce and meat.  Canned veggies and fruit are next, with tomato products, soups & pastas all together.

The point of doing this is that you can walk down just the aisles that you need to, you wont have to backtrack (most of the time) and spend more time in the store.  Of course I tend to miss the new products,  B has taught me that.  But if you are really working on saving money you may not necessarily want to discover hip new products.

Spending lots of the time in the store is just not all that fun and it can be very expensive.  The longer you are in there the more likely you are to spend more and more money!  Even the most vigilant shopper with cash in their pocket can start to be tempted by 24 different types of oreos; it was 24 types, right C???

Save time and save money too!


Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Weekly Menu 3/31+


Please welcome our guest blogger this week, Nana.  At the beginning of Lent, all those many weeks ago, she and I talked about how their church was suggesting that families try to plan menus and eat based on the food stamp budget.  I found this link from a Diocese in Iowa, suggesting the same thing.  In their calculations it boils down to $1.50/meal per day per person.  Since this menu focuses on the evening meal if you assume there are four people in the family then each meal would need to come in around $6 each. 

I also found this link for food stamp application that has the allowance for food stamps on it based on the number of people in a household.  Here a family of four would qualify for $668 for a month we’ll divide that by 4 weeks = $167, but that’s for all meals so if we take 50% for the evening meal then we are down to $83.50 for the week and that amounts to about $12 for each meal.  I’ll make some rough estimates based on the sales this week in my area and see how we come out.

And now Nana, take it away…

Recipes for Holy Week
Not much time to cook supper with church services on Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and the Easter Vigil. 

Saturday

bisquick quiche
strawberry  pie
Sunday
April Fool's
rotisserie chicken
roasted veggies
butterhorns
Monday

asparagus/salami salad
loaded baked potatoes
Tuesday

chicken salad on lettuce
butterhorns
grapes
Wednesday

cauliflower cheese soup
butter dip
Thursday

chicken Caesar pasta salad
peach cobbler
Good
Friday

tehri

Saturday
Start Saturday night mixing up the dough for butterhorns on Sunday and Tuesday. 
Butterhorns  $1 each night
1 pkg dry yeast
3 T warm water
2 eggs, beaten
½ c sugar
½ c shortening
1 t salt
1 c warm water
4 c flour

Dissolve yeast in 3 T warm water.  Combine next four ingredients in large bowl.  Stir in water and mix well.  Stir in yeast and flour and mix well.  Cover and refrigerate overnight. 

Roll into circle.  Brush with melted butter.  Cut into 16 wedges.  Roll up from wide end.  Place on greased baking sheet.  Let rise in warm place until double in bulk.  Bake at 350º until bread tests done. 

Yield:  16 rolls

Bisquick Mix (Yes, you can make your own bisquick!)

9              c flour
1/3         c baking powder
1              c powdered milk
2              T cream of tartar
4              t salt
1 ½         c vegetable oil

Mix the dry ingredients and pour in the oil.  Mix with your fingers until lumps are gone.  Store in refrigerator for eons. 

Impossible Chard/Mushroom Quiche $4.27
1              c Swiss chard
                                (blanched, squeezed dry, shredded)
1              small can mushrooms, chopped
½             c onion
½             c peppers
1              c shredded cheese (about 4 oz)
¾             c bisquick (homemade or store bought)
½             t salt
¼             t black pepper
¼             t pequin (if desired)
1 ½         c milk
3              eggs

Mix veggies together and sprinkle in greased pan.  Sprinkle cheese over veggies.  Mix remaining ingredients until smooth.  Pour liquid over veggies.  Bake at 400° for about 35 minutes.  Let sit for 5 min before cutting.  (You can use two cups of any vegetables you like, maybe even use up remaining chopped veggies from earlier in the week.)

Impossible Strawberry Pie $3.40
1/2 c biscuit mix
3/4 c sugar
2 T butter, melted
2 eggs
1 (13 oz) can evaporated milk
1 c strawberry purée
1 c sliced strawberries
3 drops red food coloring (optional)
2 t vanilla
Whipped cream
Whole strawberries

Combine biscuit mix, sugar, butter, eggs, evaporated milk, and puréed strawberries in blender.  Cover and blend on high speed 1 minute.  Stir in sliced strawberries, food coloring, and vanilla.  Pour into lightly greased 9 or 10 inch pie plate.  Bake at 350 degrees 50 to 55 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean.  Cool.  Serve with fresh strawberries and whipped cream.

Sunday
--Sunday you can chop veggies for roasting, extra asparagus for Monday’s salad, extra cauliflower for Wednesday’s soup, and more veggies for Friday’s tehri and Saturday’s quiche.  
--Cook two chickens on the rotisserie – one for today’s meal and one to use in Tuesday's and Thursday’s salads.  
--After dinner, take meat off the extra chicken and refrigerate in two portions.  Cover the chicken bones with water and simmer all night to get a nice rich broth for Wednesday’s soup. 

Rotisserie Chicken $3.00

Chicken Rub
2 T seasoned salt
2 t garlic powder
2 t onion powder
2 t poultry seasoning
2 t jerk seasoning
1 t black and red pepper
1 T rosemary

Roasted Vegetables $1.50
Seasonal Vegetables
Olive Oil
Salt
Pepper

Preheat the oven to 400. Chop the vegetables into large pieces.
Put the vegetables in a large bowl and coat in olive oil. Don’t be afraid of over-oiling – the extra will just pool at the bottom of the bowl.  Toss!
Salt heavily.  Toss!  Pepper the vegetables well, but don’t over do it.  Toss!  Place the vegetables on baking sheet, without over-packing them.  The vegetables should lightly touch, but not pile up on top of each other.  If you’re roasting a lot of vegetables, put different vegetables on different baking sheets.  If you’re roasting vegetables of very different cooking times (eg, potatoes and broccoli) you can put them on different baking sheets and stagger the timing – or just throw it all together.
Give the veggies a good stir with a metal or wooden spatula about 15-20 minutes in.
Total roasting time is between 30 minutes and 1 hour, depending on what you’re cooking.  Taste to see if it’s done – you may like it crispier or you may like it just barely soft.  (Or if you like them a bit browned, you can switch to broil at the end for some quick extra color.)
[based on recipe at One Green Generation]

Butterhorns $1
Roll into circle.  Brush with melted butter.  Cut into 16 wedges.  Roll up from wide end.  Place on greased baking sheet.  Let rise in warm place until double in bulk.  Bake at 350º until bread tests done. 

Monday
Asparagus Salami Salad $7.02
1 pound asparagus, trimmed
½ medium sweet red pepper, cut into 2 inch strips
1 small onion, thinly sliced and separated into rings
¼ pound hard salami (or summer sausage), cut into strips
½ c crumbled feta cheese
1/3 c olive oil
2 T sugar
¼ c white vinegar
¼ c rice vinegar
1 ½  t minced garlic
¾ t salt
½ t dried basil (or ½ T fresh basil)

In a large skillet, bring 1 in. of water to a boil.  Add asparagus; cover and cook for 3 minutes or until barely tender.  Drain and immediately place in ice water.  Drain and pat dry.   Cut into 2 inch pieces. 
In a large bowl, combine the asparagus, red pepper, onion, salami, and feta cheese.  In a small bowl, whisk the remaining ingredients.  Pour over the vegetable mixture and toss to coat. 
Cover and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. 

source:  some issue of Simple and Delicious submitted by Patricia Smith of Golden, Colorado.  I  modified slightly.

Loaded Baked Potatoes (butter, sour cream, cheese, bacon bits, chives) $0.75

Tuesday
Curried Chicken Salad $4.95
1/3 c Craisins (or raisins)
½ c white wine or apple juice
2 c cooked chicken, coarsely chopped
2 ribs celery, diced (or can substitute water chestnuts)
1 large apple, cored and coarsely chopped
1 c mayonnaise
1 ½ t ground ginger
2 t curry powder
salt to taste
lettuce leaves for serving

Combine the Craisins and wine or apple juice in a small saucepan.  Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and simmer until the Craisins are soft, 5 to 7 minutes.  Set aside to cool slightly.  (Skip this step if you are in a BIG hurry).  In a large mixing bowl, combine the chicken with the celery and apple.  Stir in the Craisins and any liquid remaining in the saucepan; toss well to combine.  In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, ginger, and curry powder.  Toss with the chicken mixture to coat lightly and thoroughly.  Season to taste with salt.  Chill the salad in the refrigerator until ready to serve.  Serve the salad on plates lined with an array of lettuce leaves.  Makes 4 servings. 
(based on recipe found in the Austin American Statesman in November 2006)

Butterhorns $1
Grapes $1.50

Wednesday
Cauliflower Cheese Soup $3.86
1 medium head of cauliflower, separated into flowerettes
1 medium onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 rib of celery, chopped
4 cups chicken broth (I sometimes substitute beef, veggie, or whatever.)
2 cups cream (I usually substitute a medium white sauce.)
1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 cup Cheddar cheese, grated
salt and pepper

Combine cauliflower, onion, carrot, celery, and broth in slow cooker.  Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.  (Or, if you're in a hurry, just cook it in a pot on top of the stove.)  Puree in blender to desired consistency.  Blend in cream, Worcestershire sauce, and cheese.  Season to taste.  This is good with a hefty sprinkle of crushed red chiles.

BUTTER DIPS $0.96

Melt in 13x9 inch pan                     1/3 cup butter (2/3 stick)

Stir together in bowl                                       2 1/4 cups flour
                                                                                1 Tbsp. sugar
                                                                                3 1/2 tsp. baking powder
                                                                                1 1/2 tsp. salt

Add to dry ingredients                   1 cup milk

Stir slowly with fork until dough just clings together.  Turn on well-floured board.  Roll over to coat with flour.  Knead lightly about 5 times.  Roll out 1/2 inch thick into a rectangle, 12*8.  With floured knife, cut dough in half lengthwise, then crosswise at one inch intervals.  Dip each strip in butter on both sides and lay close together in two rows in pan.  Bake until golden brown.  Serve hot. 

Temperature:  450  Time:  Bake 15 to 20 minutes  Amount:  32 Butter Dips

Cheese Butter Dips:  Add 1/2 cup grated cheese to dry ingredients. 
Garlic Butter Dips:  Add 1/2 clove garlic, finely minced, to butter before melting. 
Cinnamon Butter Dips:  Sprinkle mixture of 2 tsp. sugar and 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
      over Butter Dips before baking. 

Betty Crocker's Picture Cook Book -- 1956
This was one of Granny Arnold's cook books, which she gave to me in 1964.

Thursday
Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad $5.50
½ c mayonnaise
¼ c grated Parmesan cheese
¼ c milk
2 T lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium head romaine lettuce, cut crosswise into ½ inch wide strips
2 c diced, cooked chicken
8 oz. macaroni twists (about 4 cups), cooked, rinsed with cold water, and drained
freshly ground pepper and salt

In a large bowl combine first 5 ingredients.  Add lettuce, chicken, and twists; toss to coat.  Season to taste with freshly ground pepper and salt.  Makes about 10 (1 cup) servings
source:  Mueller’s Macaroni box


Helen Marie’s Peach Cobbler  $2.81
Melt 1 stick butter in a 9 x 12 pan
Make batter of the following ingredients in a small bowl. 
1 c flour
1c sugar
2 t baking powder
2/3 c milk

Pour batter over melted butter.  Spoon contents of one large can of sliced peaches over the batter.  Bake for about 30 minutes in 400 degree oven (or until golden brown on top).   (Great served with ice cream or whipped cream on top.)


Good Friday
Tehri (Catholic Review) $3.27
2 Tbsp oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 green chili peppers, diced
1 onion, diced
½ tsp turmeric
4 cups various vegetables of choice, chopped (peas, carrots, green beans, cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, potatoes, chard, spinach, onion, red pepper)
2 cups rice
4 cups water
salt to taste

Heat oil in a pot, add cumin seeds and cook for 2 minutes.  Add green chilis, onion and turmeric and sauté for 2 minutes.  Add chopped vegetables and sauté until slightly fried.  Add rice, salt, and water.  Cook (covered) until rice and vegetables are cooked and water completely absorbed (about 20 minutes).

Makes 4-5 servings


So let’s see how we did financially. 
Saturday
$7.67
Sunday
$5.50
Monday
$7.77
Tuesday
$7.45
Wednesday
$4.82
Thursday
$8.31
Friday
$3.27
Total
$44.79

This considers that you have some items like vinegar and basic seasonings on hand, but you could still purchase some of these if just didn’t have them or needed to replace and still stay within your allotted budget.   I did consider the price of a cup of flour, sugar, butter, the cost of each egg, bisquick (ready made)etc.  I also assumed you could get by with two rotisserie chickens for the multiple meals.  Again, you could add a third chicken to the cost and still be well under your food budget. 




Grocery Deals 3/28+


Sprouts      blackberries .88, apples. 88/lb, (vs. 97 Randalls), oranges .88/lb, strawberries 2.50/lb, tomatoes .88/lb, avocados .88 (vs $1 Randalls), celery .88, sweet potatoes .88/lb, red/yellow/orange peppers .88 (vs $1 Randalls), lettuce .88, zucchini .88/lb, spiral ham 1.97/lb

HEB           cantaloupe $1 (vs $3 Randalls), oranges .88/lb, red bell pepper .77, cauliflower .97.  A few stores have leg quarters .47/lb (10# bag), fajita chicken 1.47/lb

Randalls     grapes 1.48/lb, pork roast 1.87/lb, pot roast 2.99/lb, leg quarter .59/lb, cake mix 1.25. 
FRI-MON only: rotisserie chicken $6

Fiesta         corn 3/$1, apples 5/$1, cucumbers .20, tangelos .17, oranges .13, leg quarters .49/lb ($10 min), chuck roast 2.29/lb ($10 min)

Monday, March 26, 2012

Tuesday's Terrific Tip--Get Ready for Tomorrow, Today

This morning I knew what I was going to wear and it was funny to see that my co-worker L had chosen almost the same color combination.  As we laughed at our similar colored shirts, it wasn't the first time we'd done that, she said that she had picked out her outfit the day before.  I had also picked out my outfit the day before, because I wore it to church.  So we laughed again.

That got me/us to thinking about what you can do to help yourself today for the next day.

First, there are probably a few things that you've realized take a little extra time in the morning.  Getting dressed.... What to wear????

you can set aside the outfit and accessories that you want to wear.  If I wore any number of accessories, I could have taken a picture, but I'm lucky to remember earrings every morning.  You'd think after 35+ years I wouldn't need to think about that every day anymore, but last week I forgot to put some on.


Getting backpacks, permission slips for field trips--lunch can be a field trip--ha!, clothes for practice, your workout stuff for the gym, your lunch; all of these can be put together the night before so that you can have a smoother morning, not feel rushed and more importantly not forget the baseball glove on the dining room table like one family I know did last week.  It might have been the same day I forgot my earrings now that I think about it.


You can also do this at the office right before you leave too.  If there is a project that you must get done right away, write yourself a note with the three things you hope to get done first thing the next morning.

My family is some what challenged with everyday transitions.  When it comes to early mornings this also applies to me.  I can be pleasant, but I might not be fully awake and engaged when I first get to the office.  However, if I've left myself a note from the evening before I find that I can pick right back up where I left off with a lot less 'transition time'.  When I'm working in the afternoon and the brain is 'on' it's easy to know what that next thing to do is.

However, after I've gone home and found this
because the chickens were hiding them ahead of the Easter bunny again in this area
well it's distracting and I forget all of the cares of the office.

So help yourself have a less stressful morning, day or week by getting a jump on a few things the day before.

The good news?  The eggs all tested out just fine, so looks like we are back in the egg business.  Now that they're hiding place was found, they are laying eggs in the coop.

At least for now.


Thursday, March 22, 2012

Frugal Friday--Take advantage of loss leaders

What is a loss leader?  Those are the flashy super sale items like I mentioned in this week's ads at the new Randall's location.  Specifically, the Blue Bell ice cream for $2.99/half gallon. That's a pretty impressive price  considering that it normally sells for almost $6 for the same sized container.  Anyway with a loss-leader the store is willing to take a 'loss' on that 'lead' item in the ad in the hopes that it will increase traffic in their store and that while you are there, you will do the rest of your shopping too.

Usually the better the loss-leader, the less you want to wander the aisles of that store picking up regular priced items because they will be working at making up the loss they took on the ice cream, or whatever, in the other items that wind up in your basket.

There are usually limits on the really great deals because the grocery store doesn't want to completely lose their shirt on the deal.  I have no issue with the company making a profit (this is still America) so hopefully they have a smart analyst sitting in a room somewhere making a forecast about how many containers of ice cream they would sell in a twelve hour period and what they would make up in additional sales.  However, I don't have to be one of those 'extra shoppers'.  I like to line up in the savvy-shopper-who-will-make-a-swing-through-a-convenient-location-for-a-few-items column on their forecast.

So how can you make sure you disciplined about it?  Well you can refer back to last week's tip about paying cash for your groceries.  In fact this could be your first foray into that experiment.  You know you can only buy two containers of ice cream, and they are $3 each, so since groceries aren't taxable, walk into the store with $6 cash in your pocket.  Leave your purse in the trunk (safety first :)), go get your delectable dessert, pay and leave.  Ba-da-bing.  

If you are well trained like C, you will know that you can take a buddy, or your wife, into such a sale and double dip (ha ha).  You can each have $6 in your pocket, you both get to take advantage of the deal, but to make it look less conspicuous you get in different lines.  Pay for your items, exit stage right and know you got a great deal.

Ok, they don't have Bluebell up in StL, but I did hear a story from them about how they took advantage of a whole chicken sale in a similar way.

If your kid is old enough, like 10 or so, you can also send them through a line with their share of the items and cash in their pocket.  I'm pretty sure that's where C learned the trick when buying chickens for the school carnival back in the day.  However, it is quite suspicious when your kid is yelling at you over the candy racks about what to do next.  You'd think that they'd pay attention every Saturday when you drag them through the process.

He's long since redeemed himself in the store.  Like the time all the new UT freshman were crowding up the aisles at HEB Hancock shopping for the first time without their mothers.  Honestly, they were just under foot.  C turned and looked and me and said, "Mom, I will never embarrass you like that.  I will know what to do when I go to college."  I think he was 14 or so.

Oh yes, back to the point...

The best time to go and take advantage of a loss leader is early in the morning before the full-list shoppers get in there.  Supplies are usually at their peak early in the morning.  You'll have the best selection of flavors/sizes before everyone and their brother gets in there.

Usually stores don't offer rain checks on loss-leaders so when they are out, you're out of luck.

While the second mouse might get the cheese, the early bird still gets the ice cream.

Lookie Here!!!!

Look what L found today...

...a very teeny tiny small egg.  But it clearly came as a first effort from one of the new girls.

He said he told them yesterday that if they didn't start making food, they were going to become food.

Hooray!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Weekly Menu 3/24+


Saturday

PW meatballs
fried potatoes
peas
oatmeal chipper skillet
Sunday

chicken parmesan
angel hair with pesto
spinach salad
garlic bread
Monday

pan fried pork chops
buttered corn
ranch style beans
Tuesday

beef stroganoff
noodles
broccoli
carrots
Wednesday

grilled chicken
rice pilaf
squash
Thursday

cowboy pie
Friday

cheese pizza

Saturday
-- I have a batch of these meatballs in my freezer just waiting for the sauce to be poured on them and then make their way into the oven.  I’m really going to appreciate my prep work tonight. 
PW Meatballs (Pioneer Woman)
FOR MEATBALLS
1-1/2 pound Ground Beef
3/4 cups Oats
1 cup Milk
3 Tablespoons Very Finely Minced Onion
1-1/2 teaspoon Salt
Plenty Of Ground Black Pepper, to taste
_____
FOR COOKING MEATBALLS
1 cup All-Purpose Flour (coating For Frozen Meatballs)
Canola Oil
_____
FOR SAUCE
1 cup Ketchup
2 Tablespoons Sugar
3 Tablespoons Vinegar
2 Tablespoons Worcestershire
4 Tablespoons (to 6 Tablespoons) Onion
1 dash Tabasco

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Combine all meatball ingredients. Roll into medium-small balls and place on a cookie sheet. Place sheet in freezer for five minutes.  After 5 minutes, remove meatballs from freezer and immediately dredge in unseasoned flour.  Brown meatballs in canola oil until just brown. Place into a baking dish.  Combine all sauce ingredients. Pour over meatballs and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Serve with egg noodles, mashed potatoes, or crusty French bread.

Fried Potatoes
Peas
Oatmeal Chipper Skillet
½ c butter (1 stick)
½ c brown sugar
¼ c sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
¾ c flour
½ t baking soda
¼ t salt
1 ½ c uncooked oats
½ - 1 c chocolate chips
Heat oven to 350.  In large bowl beat butter and sugars with electric mixer till creamy.  Add egg and vanilla.  Add combined flour baking soda and salt.  Stir in oats and chocolate chips.  Press dough into bottom of nonstick oven proof skillet.  Bake 20 minutes or until top is lightly browned.  Do not over bake as cookie will continue to bake out of the oven.  Cool at least 10 minutes, serve with ice cream. 
Sunday
Sunday
--Spinach washed in warm water gets rid of the sand that likes to stick to the leaves, more so than cool or cold water. 

Chicken Parmesan
Boneless chicken
1 egg
¾ c Italian seasoned bread crumbs
1T butter, melted
1 jar spaghetti sauce
1 c mozzarella cheese
Preheat oven to 400.  Dip chicken in egg, then bread crumbs, coating well.  Melt butter in 9x13 pan.  Place coated chicken in pan.  Bake uncovered 20 minutes.  Pour spaghetti sauce over chicken, then top with cheese.  Bake additional 10 minutes until chicken is cooked. 

Angel Hair with Pesto

Spinach Salad
Washed spinach
Sliced mushrooms
Sliced boiled egg
Bacon bits
Garlic Bread

Monday
Pan-Fried Pork Chops
4-6 chops
Flour for dredging (save 2T for gravy)
1T butter
Oil
Salt & pepper
Garlic powder
1 c milk
Heat 2-3 Tbls of oil in heavy skillet.  Season both sides of chops, dredge through flour.   Cook over medium high heat 3-4 minutes per side, or until edges start to brown before you flip the first time.  Just before chops are finished add 1T butter to give them a nice buttery flavor.  This will also give you a nice base for your gravy.  Remove chops from pan and cover with lid or foil.  Add 2T flour and brown slightly.  Add milk and whisk around in pan making sure you get all those yummy browned bits up off the bottom of the pan. 

Buttered Corn
Ranch Style Beans

Tuesday
--I recommend using a cut up roast instead of ground beef.  It just really makes this dish taste SO much better.  The beef gets nice and tender after cooking all day. 
--Plus if you find a roast on sale, it is often less expensive than ground meat or stew meat.

Beef Stroganoff (Menus4Moms)
3lb roast cut up into small pieces (or 2 c cooked ground meat from freezer)
1 medium onion, chopped (from freezer)
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1-2 pkg. fresh sliced mushrooms
1 Tbsp. butter, melted
10 3/4 oz. can cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
8 ounces sour cream

Combine all ingredients, except sour cream, in the crockpot.  Cook all day.  When you get home add sour cream, and heat thoroughly. Serve over cooked noodles.

Noodles
Spinach
Carrots (raw or cooked you decide)

Wednesday
Grilled Chicken
Rice Pilaf
Add ½ c of mixed frozen veggies to your rice as you cook it.  You can get fancy and sauté your rice in 1T butter first and then add chicken stock to it for the liquid. 
Squash

Thursday
Cowboy Pie
1lb bulk breakfast sausage cooked
1-2 pkg Jiffy corn bread mix (1 if there are just a few of you, 2 if you are feeding a larger family or a teenaged boy)
½ t sugar  
1/3 c milk (1 box)
1 egg (1 box)
½ c cheddar cheese, grated
2T minced green onions

Cook sausage in cast iron skillet; drain.  Prepare corn bread according to directions, add remaining ingredients; let sit for five minutes.  Pour on top of waiting meat.  Bake for 25 minutes at 400 degrees. 

Friday
Cheese Pizza


Grocery Deals 3/21+


HEB      strawberries 1.25, asparagus .97/lb (vs 1.99 HEB), chicken breasts $1/lb, carnitas 1.97/lb

Randall's    strawberries .99/lb (vs $2 Sprouts), shrimp 4.99/lb, pork loin chops 1.99/lb, pork roast 1.87/lb,  ribeye steak 3.47/lb, beef roast 2.99/lb, pork sausage 2.50, leg quarters .59/lb, pizza dough balls $1 (in the deli),
Friday only: 3 pack turkey bacon $5, rotisserie chicken $5
With coupon: grands biscuits .99
If you are in the Steiner Ranch area (620/Quinlan Park) on Saturday between 8am and 8pm, please stop in the new Randalls and take advantage of these wonderful loss-leaders all have a limit of 2: BlueBell 2.99 (limit 2), milk 1.99/gal, 24 pack water 1.99, Hellman’s mayo 1.99

Sprouts    red bell peppers .33 (vs .77 HEB), onions .49/lb, lettuce .99, avocado .77, tomatoes .77/lb, celery .88, apples .99/lb, boneless chicken 1.99/lb

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Tuesday's Terrific Tip--Planting for LE$$

This week there was not going to be a Terrific Tuesday Tip because frankly I couldn’t think of anything to write about and I got too busy, even for me.  But, hey, at least I recognized that I was too busy.  Then why am I still posting today?  Because I talked to my dear sweet Marketing Director, T, today and she shared a great tip that I had to share with you too. 

Last week we talked about c,

and lettuce, and how it is planting season and all that spring stuff. 

Happy vernal equinox—did you know you are supposed to be able to stand an egg up on its end today?  If my chickens were producing eggs I could test this out. 

Right.  Back to the point of this no-post week. 

Well, T had some great information.  She has found the last three years that Lowe’s, not Home Depot, puts a lot of their plants on clearance at the back of the garden center  and marks them down for 50% off.  Three years ago she was uncertain if these plants would last so she bought half of her purchase as the 50% off plants and half at regular price.  After just a few days she said they all looked the same; in a good way. 

Instead of paying $4 each she is now happily paying $2 each.  She also ventured out and purchased some hydrangeas for $3 each.  One other bit of information, she said that weekdays are the best time to check this deal out unless you are a real early bird on Saturday mornings.  You could also ask the garden center folks when they go through the plants and look for what will be put back on the table. 

Happy planting!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Chicken Update

Last weekend while I was here doing important things
this dog,
which I'm not thinking is quite so cute anymore, came for another visit.  Coincidentally, or not, we lost another chicken that same day.

We are also so far down in egg production, just one every other day, that we've decided to keep the chickens locked up in the coop.  I noticed there was one egg, but there are four chickens.

We've told them they are grounded until egg production picks up.  

They aren't too happy about it, but so far we haven't put a copy of Bill Bennett's The Book of Virtues in there for them to read.  While that's standard fare for our a grounding in our family we haven't come to that yet.