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Showing posts from June, 2016

4th of July Candy Cookies

One way I save money, is to make goodies and snacks for my husband's lunch. I can usually make cookies or bars with ingredients I have on hand and they are much better than the boxed snacks! Plus, I also happen to like spoiling my husband with baked goods. Call me old fashioned. :)


So, today I made m&m cookies with a twist. I added the twist because I didn't have quite enough m&m's for my recipe. So I added white chocolate chips and sprinkles. My sprinkles just also happened to be red, white and blue which is fitting for the 4th! These cookies are soft and chewy with just the right amount of crispy on the outside. Hope you enjoy this recipe! Feel free to freeze the dough, or freeze the cookies after they bake. This recipe made about 2 1/2 dozen medium size cookies.


4th of July Candy Cookies

1 cup shortening
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup m&m's
3/4 cup white c…

Loaded Baked Potato and Chicken Casserole

This is my husband's absolute favorite meal that I make. It's a very inexpensive meal for our family. It seems that it goes a long way.

Loaded Baked Potato 
and Chicken Casserole

1 large chicken breast, cubed
5-6 small potatoes, peeled and cubed
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tsp salt
1 TB pepper (trust me, this is not a typo)
1/2 TB garlic powder
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup cooked, crumbled bacon

Preheat oven to 475 degrees.
In a bowl, combine oil and seasonings. Add cubed potatoes, stirring to coat. Remove with a slotted spoon, reserving remaining oil mixture. Cook potatoes in a greased, glass dish 25 minutes or until tender.
Add cut up chicken to remaining oil mixture and stir to coat. Cook in skillet until cooked through. Add chicken, bacon and cheese to potato dish and bake 3-5 minutes longer until cheese is melted.

Optional: Serve with Ranch dressing.

Muffins!

This is strawberry season, right? My girls and I love sliced strawberries with a little sugar stirred in. Sometimes though, we have a few strawberries leftover that need to be ate up. We could eat them OR we could make muffins! 
This is a muffin recipe that I found on allrecipes.com that I have changed a little bit and my family loves these muffins! This time, I also had some fresh peaches I needed to use up. So I made a double batch; one batch of strawberry, one of peach. I can't tell my favorite because they are both so good!

Strawberry Muffins
1/4 c. canola oil
1/2 c. milk
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. white sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 3/4 c. flour
1 cup chopped strawberries (or other fruit)

Preheat oven to 375 F.  Mix all wet ingredients together. In another bowl, mix all dry ingredients together. Gently toss chopped fruit in flour mixture. Add wet ingredients to dry and mix gently. Fill muffin cups and bake for 25 minutes.




You c…

Cheeseburger Soup

One way to save money is to pack my husband's lunch for work. He likes to take soup, but is not a fan of canned soup. That's fine since homemade is so much cheaper to make! This is recipe is one of our favorites. It's another recipe from my mom. Hope you enjoy!

Cheeseburger Soup
-1/2 lb. ground beef
-3/4 c. chopped onion
-3/4 c. shredded carrots
-1 tsp. dried basil
-1/8 tsp. celery seed
-1 tsp. dried parsley flakes
-4 T. butter, divided
-3 c. chicken broth
-4 c. diced, peeled potatoes
-1/4 c. all-purpose flour
-7-8 slices of american cheese
-1 1/2 c. milk
-3/4 tsp. salt
-1/4 tsp pepper
-1/4 c. sour cream



Brown beef. Drain and set aside. In same pan, saute veggies, basil and parsley in 1 T. butter, about 10 minutes. Add broth, potatoes, and beef. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 10-12 minutes or until potatoes are done.

In a small skillet, melt remaining butter. Add flour. Cook and stir until thick and golden brown. Add to soup. Boil. Cook, stir for 2 minutes. Reduce heat …

Dig Deep Salad

Today, I am sharing one of my mom's recipes. It's for Dig Deep Salad which makes a great addition to any summer picnic. I had to make a few changes when I made it Saturday. My store didn't have any green peppers so I just added carrots for a different twist and some color. I think I actually liked it better with them! I also used a red onion instead of the usual yellow onion, mainly because I wanted some color.


This recipe needs to be made about a day ahead to let the flavors blend all together. You add the cheese and bacon bits right before serving. I forgot to take a picture after I added the cheese and bacon, but I'm sure you can imagine how delicious it looked after I did, right?

Enjoy the recipe!

Dig Deep Salad (Also known as 7-layer salad)

1/2 head lettuce, torn into bite size pieces1/2 bell pepper, chopped1/2 large sweet onion, chopped4 stalks celery, chopped10 ounces frozen peas, thawed1 pint Hellmann mayonnaise2 tablespoons sugar1/4 cup Parmesan cheese2 cups gr…

My Favorite Fruit Salad

There are so many recipes for fruit salad. This recipe is my absolute favorite. It was serves at my wedding reception and was a big hit. It is not exactly the cheapest thing to make but I made it this week because of a potluck we are having at church tomorrow. If you try it let me know what think!


My Favorite Fruit Salad

1 can peach pie filling 2 bananas
2 small cans of mandarin oranges 1 package of strawberries

Chop up strawberries and bananas. Add all ingredients to a bowl and mix. Serve chilled.  \


Bi-weekly Meal Plan and How I Meal Plan

This blog is all about how to plan meals on a budget. What exactly do I mean by a budget? We have a family of 4, two adults and two children 3 and 1. We live in a small town in Virginia, so the cost of living here is definitely not as high as some places, but not as low as others. We budget about $160-$200 every two weeks for groceries. I usually try to keep it on the lower end, but depending on what I have to buy it can definitely go towards the higher end. My grocery category includes any food we eat for two weeks, paper goods (toilet paper, paper towels, etc.) cleaning supplies, diapers/baby wipes and personal hygiene products. This does not include eating out.

I try to use coupons when I can, mostly Kroger digital coupons.We do have a great discount grocery store here and that's where I went shopping today.

I usually plan my menu for two weeks (since my husband gets paid every two weeks) before I go shopping. This really helps to save money so you aren't just buying whatev…

6 Steps for Crispy Fried Chicken

When we first got married, I was scared to make fried chicken.  I was nervous about not getting it done, or burning the crust before the chicken gets done or whatever.  I ate some fried chicken at a restaurant once and it changed my mind. It was a simple fried boneless, skinless, chicken breast. It was so moist and delicious. So I have been working on my fried chicken recipe and it's now a pretty common meal. Im linking up today with Skip to My Lou today!

This meal is pretty cheap to make. Boneless, skinless chicken breasts aren't as cheap as bone-in chicken typically used for frying, but I can find it for less than $2.00/pound pretty regularly.

Some chicken breasts are so huge, I can cut up one into smaller pieces and get enough for our family. I'm feeding two adults and two children (3 and 1). So here's some tips I have learned that help me get really good, crispy, and juicy fried chicken.

1. I cut up my chicken breasts into smaller pieces. This cuts down on cooking …