Showing posts with label Frugal Shopping. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Frugal Shopping. Show all posts

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Make Ahead Meals With Taco Meat

taco-large

I know some of you women are working outside the home, and it always feels good when you can get a few things done ahead for dinner. This is one of those ideas that can help you prepare some simple-to-throw-together meals.

TACO MEAT


2 - 2/1-2 # ground beef
1 - 2 pkg. taco seasoning, according to taste
1/3 cup water

In a large skillet, brown the ground beef.  Break up the larger pieces with your wooden spoon and stir occasionally until no longer pink.  Drain - place back in skillet and stir in the seasoning.  Add the water and let it simmer a few minutes until liquid has evaporated.

When meat has cooled, place it in a container and refrigerate, or divide into 2 or 3 labeled freezer bags for use later. It can be frozen up to 3 months.  When ready to use - defrost in the microwave and heat through for a quick meal.


TACOS


10-12 flour tortillas (taco size)
1 tomato, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
lettuce, shredded
cheddar cheese, shredded
8 ozs. sour cream
To make the tortillas more pliable, place the stack of tortillas between damp paper towels and place in the microwave for 10 - 20 seconds on high.  Fill each tortilla with meat mixture and your favorite toppings.

(I love tacos with a crunch, and love to use the hard shell inside the soft shell, for easier eating).

TACO SALAD


1 head of lettuce, torn into pieces
5 plum tomatoes, diced
8 ozs. cheddar cheese, shredded
1 - 12 oz. bag nacho cheese or taco Doritos, crumbled
Catalina dressing
Prepare tomatoes, lettuce and cheese a day ahead. (Don't use a knife to cut the lettuce - the edges will turn brown). Cover and store in refrigerator.  You may heat the meat a little, but not too much, because it will wilt the lettuce if added to the salad when it's hot. Yield 8 - 10 servings

I recommend keeping everything separate - once you mix the tomatoes, lettuce, cheese & chips together, the leftover salad does not keep well.

Enjoy!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Are you a Coupon-er?

google coupon
I have always enjoyed grocery shopping.  I know that's not the case for everyone, but part of the reason I find it 'fun', is because I make the most of couponing, and so I thought I'd share a few ideas and thoughts to help get you get the most for your money.

The best deal I ever had was when I once paid $39 for $63 worth of groceries. But I've heard of women who regularly save as much as 80% of their cost!!



  • Scour your newspapers and magazines weekly.  Sunday newspapers are a treasure when you are able to use many coupons and store circulars with info on sales.



  • I try to stock up on my most-used items when they're on sale.  Many stores allow you - as mine does - to use a store coupon along with a manufacturer's coupon.  And if your store doubles or even triples the coupon, you can go home with free items. WOW! Ex: my grocery store once had a holiday coupon deal - Buy one 5# bag of flour, get 3 free.  That in and of itself is a real deal, but I had a 25 cents off coupon for the flour, that was doubled, and so I ended up paying 49 cents for 20# of flour!!


  • There are some great websites where you can print coupons.  Check out www.couponmom.com or www.moneysavingmom.com that can help you save even more.


  • Enlist your kids to help.  Joe Daugirdas of Willoughby Hills, Ohio blogs on his site - www.joethecouponguy.com and teaches classes at a community college on how to save money.  He suggests having your kids clip coupons and then match them to your shopping list.


  • A fun 'trick' I have learned, is that if I really like a product, I can call their 1-800 number and rave to them.  More often than not, they will send a coupon or two to me, just for taking the time to contact them. I've received a number of FREE coupons!


  • My daughter, Deb, recently had a post about couponing, that I'd like to share here too... check it out...


Monday, October 12, 2009

Tips for Simplifying Meal Planning

I always enjoyed planning meals when my kids were growing up, but I think it had to come to me more naturally than for some.
I have tried many new recipes, and still do, and my family probably wished I would have served some things more often.  I would love to share some ideas to help those who tend to have a hard time creating menus for their family.






  • Post your weekly menu on the refrigerator door. You don't have to stick to it, but at least you'll have some ideas to choose from when you're hungry for a certain taste.  If you have teenagers or younger trustworthy kids, maybe they could help by preparing a dish, or even preparing an item for dinnertime, like mixing/making muffins from a mix.

  • Set your own family traditions - have pasta on Wednesdays or grill burgers every Friday.  We love having breakfast for dinner, on Sunday evenings.

  • Come up with 3 or 4 weekly menus and rotate them. Keep them simple and learn to substitute fresh veggies and fruit when they are in season.  To make things easier, plan a week's menu using the same cookbook.

  • Cook a double portion and freeze for a quick meal on a busy night.  This website has awesome ideas to help get you going with this great plan... Freezer Cooking

  • Don't be afraid to try new recipes. Ask a friend who you know is a good cook, to share some of their recipes and menu ideas with you. I have to admit...I try many more dishes, because I've been given the recipe by someone I trust. They have helped me 'blossom' and grow in the kitchen - literally (teehee).

  • I've recently become acquainted online with a new cookbook author, Jane Doiron.  I'm thrilled that she sent me a copy of her new cookbook to review. Check out her website Make Ahead Meals for Busy Moms . You can subscribe to her monthly newsletter there and have a recipe sent to your inbox along with it.

If you need some help finding forms to accomplish your meal planning, be sure to check out DonnaYoung.org or Organizing Junkie!
Whether you are someone who relishes your time in the kitchen or spends as little time cooking as possible, just remember that family bonds and memories are made around the dinner table.   Your kids won't remember the meals they were served, nearly as much as they will remember the precious times you spent together.





Thursday, August 27, 2009

Got Squash?

ZUCCHINI SOUP
4 cups sliced zucchini

1 medium onion, chopped
3 T. butter
1 cup water
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 cup milk
1 cup 1/2 & 1/2
1 tsp. basil
salt & pepper to taste


In a large saucepan, saute onion in butter for several minutes. Add zucchini and water - simmer about 30 minutes. Remove from heat and whir in blender (be careful - it will be very hot - I suggest cooling it a few minutes first). Return to saucepan and stir in soup, milk, 1/2 & 1/2 and seasonings. Heat to simmering. Yield: 4 servings

 

Other than sauteeing or steaming yellow squash, the following recipe is the one I use most when this yummy vegetable is in season.

SQUASH CUSTARD

1 -1/2 lbs. (2 large) yellow summer squash

salt & pepper

1 medium onion, chopped

1 cup white sauce, medium thickness seasoned to taste

1/2 cup American cheese, grated

2 eggs, slightly beaten

1 cup buttered bread crumbs

2 Tb. parmesan cheese

Wash and cube the squash.  Cool with the onion until tender in a little boiling salted water.  Drain thoroughly and combine with the white sauce, American cheese and eggs.  Turn into a greased baking dish, sprinkle with the buttered crumbs and the parmesan cheese.  Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes, or until browned.  Serves 4 - 6

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The "Kick" of Coupon-ing

I have to say I love shopping! I can't tell you how many times I've offered to do shopping for friends - of course, with their $$ - but I do enjoy getting as much as possible for my money, so going to the grocery store is a pleasant event for me, at least most of the time.

I recently got some great deals because my regular grocery store was running coupon deals for a 2 week period. As you can see by the picture of my receipt, I was able to save 40%. That's quite a savings these days, when we have to spend so much more for products than what we were paying a year or two ago. Paying regular prices these days can be a real killer.

I save coupons that come in our weekly newspaper, but I only save for the items that I would purchase, IF they were on sale. I carry a coupon keeper in my purse at all times, and I'm ready to save all I can.

Occasionally, I am able to save more with manufacturer's coupons, along with store coupons, but it wasn't so this time. I only used store coupons, and was very pleased with my bargains.

My local store regularly doubles coupons up to $1.00, and I have purchased items on sale for 99 cents - used my manufacturer's coupon for 50 cents, and gotten the item for free.

I try to stay stocked ahead, so that when things that I normally use, are on sale, I buy them, even if I don't need them right now. I believe it saves in the long run.

We prefer frozen vegetables. The regular price for a 1# bag, is $1.59. It is rare that I ever pay that price, because they are on sale often, and that's when I choose to stock up. This week, because of a store coupon, I was able to get 5 bags for $4. Thus, a savings of $3.95 there alone.

I also saved $4.00 on the 3# bag of quick frozen chicken breasts, because that was part of the coupon deal. That's nearly half price!

We like to shop at our local bulk food store too. We recently saw a sign posted there for co-jack cheese...our favorite...for $2.40 a lb. That's nearly half as much as the regular price, and we had to buy a big chunk. We got almost 6#. so I chunked some up for a quick nibble, and shredded much of it, and put some in the freezer. Cheese tends to crumble more after its frozen, so having shredded it first, will make it easier to use.

There are so many online sources for coupons, but I really love the look of Coupon Mom! She's a woman after my own heart!

The 'Kick' of Couponing

I have to say I love shopping!  I can't tell you how many times I've offered  to do shopping for friends - of course, with their $$ - but I do enjoy getting as much as possible for my money, so going to the grocery store is a pleasant event for me, at least most of the time.

I recently got some great deals because my regular grocery store was running coupon deals for a 2 week period.  As you can see by the picture of my receipt, I was able to save 40%.  That's quite a savings these days, when we have to spend so much more for products than what we were paying a year or two ago.   Paying regular prices these days can be a real killer.

I save coupons that come in our weekly newspaper, but I only save for the items that I would purchase, IF they were on sale.   I carry a coupon keeper in my purse at all times, and I'm ready to save all I can.

Occasionally, I am able to save more with manufacturer's coupons, along with store coupons, but it wasn't so this time.  I only used store coupons, and was very pleased with my bargains.

receipt



My local store regularly doubles coupons up to $1.00, and I have purchased items on sale for 99 cents - used my manufacturer's coupon for 50 cents, and gotten the item for free.

I try to stay stocked ahead, so that when things that I normally use, are on sale, I buy them, even if I don't need them right now.  I believe it saves in the long run.

We prefer frozen vegetables.  The regular price for a 1# bag, is $1.59.  It is rare that I ever pay that price, because they are on sale often, and that's when I choose to stock up.  This week, because of a store coupon, I was able to get 5 bags for $4.  Thus, a savings of $3.95 there alone.

I also saved $4.00 on the 3# bag of quick frozen chicken breasts, because that was part of the coupon deal. That's nearly half price.

grocery deal

We like to shop at our local bulk food store too.  We recently saw a sign posted there for co-jack cheese...our favorite...for $2.40 a lb.   That's nearly half as much as the regular price, and we had to buy a big chunk.  We got almost 6#. so I chunked some up for a quick nibble, and shredded much of it, and put some in the freezer.   Cheese tends to crumble more after its frozen, so having shredded it first, will make it easier to use.

There are so many online sources for coupons, but I really love the look of Coupon Mom!  She's a woman after my own heart!