Thursday, May 27, 2010

Curry = Heartburn

Well, the curry tasted yummy to me...I've always enjoyed Indian food when I had the chance to try it.  Unfortunately, I wasn't anticipating the heartburn it would give me when I'm pregnant!  Yes, EVERYTHING gives me heartburn when I'm pregnant, but this is the first time Tums hasn't gotten rid of it...So, enough about my heartburn :)  Maddie wasn't a fan of the curry.  I was really hoping she would just eat and not really notice, I mean I only used 1/4 tsp in an 8x8 baking wasn't that strong.  But her little sensitive toddler tongue could sense that it was "too bicey" (too spicy).  Looks like I'll be eating these leftovers tomorrow by myself...unless this heartburn never goes away tonight in which case I'll be throwing it in the trash!

The next two nights are leftovers nights for me and I think I'll give Maddie waffles one night and maybe scrambled the eggs the other...anything that doesn't require much clean up!  So I'll catch back up with you all (or my one follower...thanks Kendra!) after the weekend.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Dinners this Week

I've got to say that these recipes provided by have been pretty yummy!  Maybe I was just getting bored with the same old thing?  I don't know...  Monday night I made Cheaters Chicken and Dumplings.  It had 5 ingredients and was served with a salad.  The best part (in my opinion) was that you use refrigerator biscuits as the dumplings!!  Yes, it tasted like refrigerator biscuits, but I like them so it was yummy!  Maddie enjoyed it too so that's a recipe I'll be holding onto for a while.  I used my own chicken broth that I had made with my roast chicken last week so that probably had a huge impact on the overall flavor of the meal.  I'm excited to make more chicken broth!  This canned stuff just doesn't cut it once you're used to the "real deal".

Last night I made Cheeseburger Soup.  HELLO!!  It was so good!  Just brown the ground beef right in the soup pot with your veggies, then add some chicken broth (beef broth probably would've been good, too), boil it and simmer to let the veggies soften then add a bag of frozen hash browns!  Ok, how many of you are with can't go wrong when hash browns are involved :)  Throw in some velveeta cheese and you're good to go.  I had some frozen hot dog buns that I thawed out and made into garlic bread to go with the soup.  Maddie didn't like this soup as much, but we had a long afternoon at the beach so I think she was just too tired to eat...she did enjoy the garlic bread.

Tonight I made a crock pot Turkey breast with mashed sweet potatoes.  The turkey was incredible!  The only things you put in the crock pot with it are orange juice, some celery cut up, salt, pepper and dry onion soup mix.  I cooked it on low for 5 1/2 hours and it was PERFECT.  Maddie enjoyed it as much as I did.  But I was surprised she was really into the sweet potatoes...I don't make them often (last time I made sweet potatoes I made them oven fries...she liked that too) so I liked seeing her being interested in something new.  The leftover turkey was cut up into chunks and is already in a baking dish for tomorrow night's dinner...Turkey Divan!  I used Curry for the first time ever so I'm anxious to see if Maddie will like it!

Friday and Saturday I scheduled as leftover nights so I can take it easy and not have much clean up in the kitchen.  Sunday we're having a brunch casserole (probably for lunch and dinner).

Sorry I'm not giving exact recipes...I don't want to get "caught" giving away information I paid for.  I don't know, maybe it would be ok to give a recipe here or there as long as I'm not sending the pdf file of the meal plan and shopping list :)

Monday, May 24, 2010

An Review

Last week I told you all about this fabulous website.  I'm glad I only paid $12.50 for a three month subscription as it hasn't saved me any money.  Here's how it went down:

The shopping list for this week's menu (Walmart plan for two) was supposed to cost me $48.30.  I had several things on hand already but also had to buy some of the things they call "pantry staples" so my total for dinner items was $39.62.  Doesn't sound bad, right?  Unfortunately, that's not all the food we eat in a week.  I still had to buy items for breakfast, lunch and snacks.  Not to mention this shopping list only included 3 fruits (1 canteloupe, 1 kiwi and 1 lemon).  We eat more fruit than that and there weren't a lot of veggies either...The other foods I had to buy included things like orange juice, milk, bread, bananas, green beans, eggs, etc. and that total came to $44.77.  It makes sense that my total for 2 meals and a snack per day would add up to be more than my dinners for the week, but I was expecting to see a huge difference in my total today.

I see this site being beneficial for people who shop without a plan.  If you don't plan your meals and go to the store and just grab what looks good, then this site will help you have more of a plan (without all the work that goes with it!) and will end up saving you money.  I've been making a meal plan since Maddie was about 4 months old when Eric and I started following Weight Watchers.  I've been used to it and only buy what I need (plus a little something extra if I'm shopping hungry).  I guess that's why I didn't see a big difference in my grocery bill today. 

I already paid or the three month subscription so I'm going to continue getting the menu plans and printing them off so I have some new recipes...I'll most likely cancel at that time.  It seemed like such a good idea in the beginning.  :(  Maybe I'll start to like it better over the next three months.  I'll let you know.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

On my last post I mentioned  Then I went on the site and subscribed.  I just wanted to let you know that if you're interested in signing up you can enter the coupon code "Dave" and save $2.50...that's like getting 2 weeks free! 

I'll let you know what I think of it once I start using it (next week)...

One Chicken, Two Dinners

Ok, so a while ago I bought a whole chicken that was on sale for $0.89 a pound.  I won't tell you how long it was in my freezer since I'm a little ashamed at that (how long is it ok to keep a frozen chicken anyway?).  The important thing is that it tasted just fine and non of us got sick :)  The chicken was 4.8 pounds (you can do the math if you like).  The only thing I had to buy for dinner was a box of Stove Top stuffing (per Eric's request).  I don't remember the price on that, but I'm sure it was less than $2, right?  Everything else I already had on hand so I didn't spend any additional money.  Here's what I did...

Thawed the chicken, rinsed it, dried it, rubbed it down with olive oil on the outside, cut up a couple cloves of garlic into chunks then cut slits in the chicken and squished the garlic chunks into the chicken (DELICIOUS!! But I don't recommend eating them after the chicken is cooked because they're really soggy and not a nice texture).  Then I put salt, pepper and onion powder on the outside of the chicken.  Next I put 1/2 an onion (cut into large sections), another couple of garlic cloves and 1 lemon (sqeezed the juice all over the outside of he chicken first) into the cavity of the chicken.  I had some carrot sticks cut up in the fridge that were getting to that "either eat me or throw me away already" stage so I dropped those into the roasting pan around the chicken.  I baked the chicken COVERED for 1 1/2 hours then uncovered it, basted it and baked another 15 minutes for a crispy skin.  After I took the chicken out, I let it rest COVERED for another 10-15 minutes then cut into it to serve it up.  Oh my goodness!!!  It was so good!  Maddie and Eric couldn't get enough so I know I did a good job with it :)

After the chicken cooled down I picked the rest of the meat off the bones and cut it all up into bite size pieces for tonight's dinner and put it in the fridge.  Then I put the bones and little bits back into the roasting pan, covered it with water and cooked it for make some chicken broth.  I have that in my fridge now waiting for a good time to skim the fat off the top then I'll freeze the broth into 1 cup servings to use in future recipes.  Now for tonight's recipe.  It's a DEFINITE keeper!

Here's a link to it:

The only thing I had to buy for this recipe was 2 cans of soup and an onion (since I used my last 1/2 an onion in last night's dinner).  That added up to around $3.  The recipe calls for a whole onion but I used 1/2 of one since we're not HUGE onion eaters.  I made the casserole earlier today so when I put it in the oven it was still cold and the onions were still pretty much raw when we ate it.  So if you don't like raw onions I would suggest leaving them out or cooking them a little first...or my mom even suggested dry minced onion if you have that on hand.  The onions didn't bother me and Maddie didn't seem to mind either so we'll continue making it as is since it's easier. 

So there you have it, two dinners for less than $10.  It really doesn't get much better than that, especially since just a fast food meal for me and Maddie is around $10.

I recently heard about and I'm going to sign up for that to check it out and see how it goes.  If you want/need help planning meals and saving money, it looks like a really good site to help with just that.  It does cost $5 per month but all the meals are planned for you, the grocery list is made and you can even get your list tailored for your particular grocery store.  They make the menu based on what's on sale that week.  Nice, huh?  I'm just going to sign up for the Walmart meals for 2.  It claims you can feed 2 for $30-$40 a week so that will be incredible!  I looked at some other options and it showed meal plans for 4-5 for $70-$80 a week.  Seriously, that's awesome!  I'll let you know how I like it...Oh, and another thing is that Dave Ramsey is apparently some kind of spokesperson for their website.  You know it's gotta be good if Dave Ramsey is willing to let his face be on it, right?  :)

Does anyone have other ideas/suggestions for cheap meals?  I LOVE saving money on food so I can spend it on other sending two children to college!  :)