Budget friendly · Family · Pampered Chef Awesomeness! · Recipes · Uncategorized

How to plan a dinner party

I’m coming to you from Pampered Chef World inside my home! It is a wonderful place filled with children who know what a Mix ‘n Chop is. It is a place where simplicity is enabled in every dish made, every design, every event. My PC home is always looking for a new and easy (and cheap!) way to host a dinner party.

Here it is. In it’s most simplest form.

 

Continue reading “How to plan a dinner party”

Budget friendly · Recipes

What’s on your typical shopping list? Let’s chat!

What is on your typical shopping list?? When you go to the grocery store for your family, what is a necessity? What is a want?

I know when I go, I have two lists. One is a physical list of things that will make meals for my family, and one is a mental list of all the things my kiddos and hubby want!

Every time I grocery shop, I get….

Bananas, milk, bread, eggs, other fruit on sale, yogurt, canned/frozen veggies, noodles or rice

With this short list, I know I can make a dinner, breakfast and have lunches for school. I also use this list while looking at recipes I want to make and things that are on sale.

Let’s brainstorm here.

Spaghetti and sauce for the whole family could cost $2

French toast $2

(Using burger from the freezer) a “hotdish” can be made with egg noodles, ground beef, cream of something soup, beef broth. Easy, quick, delicious. A big pot, feeding the family, costing $5

Tater tot hotdish (ground beef, cream of something soup, frozen veggies, tots) about $6

I love going to ALDI to get many of these ingredients at a cheaper price for just as fabulous products! I also know you can find great deals at other grocery stores with and without Coupons!

The wants.

I can’t forget about those. 😉 The prepackaged snacks are my hubby’s favorites. Oh so not good for you, but a want for sure! I tried to make them treats and put them in baggies. These only work one in a while, lol!

Wants for my girls?? Fruit snacks, ice cream, chips, brownies….. Do they get them every time? Heaven’s no!! But sometimes I get one of them as a treat.

Hate to buy, but are a must?

Toilet paper!! Ugh…. Who hates to buy stuff that you flush down the toilet??? Me!! But ya kinda need it!

But really….

I try hard to shop from my own pantry and freezer first. Then, I go shopping for things to fill in the gaps. Sometimes you just need the basics, and sometimes you need the whole store. I say, get some favorite recipes, try some new ones, and make a list (or 2!) 🙂

Let’s think. What’s on your typical shopping list?

Budget friendly · Pampered Chef Awesomeness! · Recipes

Budget Family Friendly Meals

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With a new year, I thought I would set a goal for myself to utilize what I have already in the pantry and freezer.  I also wanted to create a better and cheaper way to cook for my family to help with the budget.  I brainstormed.  I “Pinterested”.  I created.  Some are healthy, some come straight from the freezer to the oven, and some have a combo of both.

Rules for this challenge for me, include: 1.) It must be easy to make (because I definitely am NOT a professional chef!) 2.) It must be budget friendly (AKA…most of stuff is found in pantry already or found on sale) and 3.) It must get the approval from my hubby and kids (ages 5 and 8)

I have started a Bullet Journal recently, and I have included a page just for meal ideas.  I use the Moleskine Classic Notebook, Large, Squared, Sapphire Blue, Hard Cover (5 x 8.25) (mine is soft covered tho!) with the squares already on each page!  There are also ones with blank pages and some with dots!   See my planning page here!

Mealplanning.jpg
Journaling ideas of things to make for dinner is key to staying budget friendly for me!

Two days ago, I attempted the Crockpot Roast and Pinto Beans recipe (credit goes to fortheloveofcooking-vanessa.blogspot.com).  Unfortunately, I didn’t have the roast very thawed, so it was not done.  I adapted it a bit to fit what I had on hand.  My version was this:

  • 2cups of dried Pinto beans                                                                                          (I soaked them over night—caution, they will expand to twice their size)
  • 1 can diced tomatoes,     
  • about 2 tsp garlic salt,
  • about 1/2T of dried onion flakes,
  • 1t. chili powder,
  • and a 3lb roast.

I put all of this into my Pampered Chef Rockcrok Dutch oven, and poured water in until it was half way up the roast and covering the beans completely.  I did sprinkle a bit more salt on top of the roast along with a heavy sprinkle of Pampered Chef Chipotle rub.  I put it on high for 10 hours (the time  I would be at work).  The Roast, being so frozen still, was not done.  But an hour later it was, and it was fab!

Jump to yesterday….I took that cooked roast, shredded it, and warmed it up on the stove.  I also took the cooked pinto beans and warmed them up as well.  While that was all going on, I cooked 3 cups of Minute Rice White, 28 oz (something I had in the pantry, just like the pinto beans and roast).  I turned these ingredients into a burrito station!  My family could make their burritos with all of these ingredients or just one or two!  It was a hit!  We also had a bag of tortilla chips and salsa open and ready to eat, so that was on the side!

Now, you probably want to see a picture of my final plate that I created.  Yeah…I ate it too fast before I remembered to take a pic! HahaHa!

If you take a look at the “calendar of ideas” you’ll notice I wrote “NUMMY” on a few items we’ve tried!  One is the 3 ingredient orange chicken from www.craftymorning.com/3ingredient-orange-chicken-sauce-recipe/ …… it was definately approved by me and my family!  What I thought was sooooo much food, ended up being all eaten!

Items needed for this recipe:

  •  1c. Sweet baby rays BBQ sauce (I used the ALDI brand!)
  • 1c. Smuckers brand Sweet Orange Marmelade
  • 2T. Soysauce (I forgot to add this, and it was still fabulous!)

Bring these to a boil while the chicken is cooking.

For the chicken:

  •  3-4 chicken breasts (I used a pack of tenders that were on sale at ALDI 🙂 )
  • 1c. of flour
  • 2 eggs
  • oil for frying

Dredge the chicken in egg, then flour (which I salted), and then fry in the oil.  Place done chicken on a paper towel plate to drain.

Once the chicken is cooked and all done, toss with the sauce.  Eat with rice 🙂  ENJOY!

Does this recipe fit my requirements?  Sure!  Chicken on sale, off brand of BBQ sauce, and flour/egg/oil already in pantry/fridge!  My family and I love it! It was a bit putsy with the chicken frying, but really, it was easy!!  Result….WINNER, WINNER, CHICKEN DINNER!!

Ok. Yes, I’m sure you also saw that Frozen Pizza was on the list.  Sometimes schedules just are too busy to make a good meal. Oh I know there are crockpots (obviously!)  but come on, when pizzas are on sale for cheap, buy a few for the freezer!  They come in handy!  Or as I told you before, when the roast doesn’t cook all the way in time for the family to eat, then pizza it is!  I find that our local supermarket has good deals often, and I also like to go to ALDI for pizza too.  Good deals, good pizzas!  Got coupons?  Even better.  Watch your ads in the paper, sign up for coupons.com, or go to your store’s website to find store coupons.  Some places you can double dip.  This means you can use a store coupon with a manufacturer’s coupon.  Sometimes, this gets you FREE products!  Are you a Target Cartwheeler?  Then you can do 3 types of deals in one!

Stay tuned for my next meal!  Questions?  Let me know in the comments below!