Monday, December 20, 2010

Salsa Chicken Skillet

1 pound chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 teaspoons canola oil
1/2 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 medium green pepper, chopped
3/4 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup frozen corn, thawed
1 clove minced garlic
2 cups salsa
2 cups hot cooked rice
1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup sour cream

1.  In a large skillet, saute chicken in oil until no longer pink; drain and set aside.

2.  Coat skillet with nonstick cooking spray.  Saute mushrooms, green pepper, onion, celery, corn and garlic for 6-8 minutes or until vegetables are tender.  Add salsa and reserved chicken; heat through.

3.  Serve over rice.  Top with cheese and sour cream.

Recipe taken from:

Friday, December 17, 2010

Christmas Dinner Menu-Under $100 for 15 people!

 So, as promised, I am going to give you my Christmas dinner menu and then I will tell you how I purchase it and how much I spend.  A few of the things that are on the menu are things that I have already been stocking up on, so I will tell you how much I got them for before.  If a deal comes up that is similar to the ones I got, I will post those, also.


Brown Rice and Mushroom Pilaf
Carnation Creamy Cheesy Mashed Potatoes
Sesame Green Beams
Sweet Potato Casserole
Reception Salad
Dinner Rolls

Cranberry Orange Cookies
Soft Gingersnaps
Rice Krispies Wreaths
Cherry Kiss Cookies
Chocolate Mousse Torte

Bacon Wrapped Little Smokies
Crackers and Brie

Shopping List:

Turkey-I got a 17 lb turkey the day before Thanksgiving for $0.29/lb, so it was $4.91

Ham?-I may or may not have this, but if I do, my husband traded work for half a pig, so we have one in our freezer.  I don't know how much this would be, but probably cheaper than buying it at the store.

Olive Oil-I got this at Albertson's this week with one of my "doubler" coupons.  It is Berio Olive Oil (reg. $7.39 a bottle).  It was on sale for $4.99 and then I had a coupon for $1/1 and a doubler, so it ended up being $2.99 a bottle.

3 cans (14.5 oz) Chicken Broth-This week at Walgreens, they had an ISC (in-store coupon) for Swanson Chicken Broth 2/$1 and I had a coupon for $1/4, so I got 4 cans for $1 or $0.25 each-$0.75   Actually, Albertsons has broth cheaper if you have doubler coupons.  It is on sale for $0.59 so if you buy 4 for $2.36 then use the $1/4 coupon and double it, you are paying $0.36 ($0.09 each!) total for 4, or $0.27

Brown Minute Rice-Rite Aid has Uncle Ben's Minute Rice on sale for $1.99 this week (12/19-25) and if you use the $0.75/2 Manufacture Coupon (found on Uncle Ben's website) and the $0.30/1 Rite Aid Video Values coupon, it will be 2.93.  Then you get two $1 UP+ Rewards, making these $0.47 each or $0.93 total

Walnuts-I got these at Costco a while back.  I found that per pound, walnuts are cheaper at Winco.  I had listed prices before Christmas, but cannot seem to find the list.  If I do, I will post it on here!

Gravy-I got these for $1 a jar.  I probably could have gotten a better deal, but ended up finishing my Christmas shopping at 1am the night before.  So this ended up being $5.

Stove Top Stuffing-Safeway had an ISC for $0.88 each this week.  Two bought making this $1.76

Cheese-Albertson's the day before Thanksgiving-Kraft Shredded Cheese (reg. $4.39/each) on sale for 2/$4, I had a $1/1 coupon and a doubler making it 2/$2

Pecans-Pecans are cheaper at Costco that at Winco per pound.  I guess if you just needed a little bit it would cost less money to buy them at Winco, but more per pound.  Nuts are one of those thing you can freeze, so sometimes it is worth just paying the bulk price to get more.

2 cans of Sliced Mushrooms-I ended up just getting fresh mushrooms-8 oz for $1.32

Evaporated Milk-Albertsons has these for $1.  I have a $0.50/2, doubled, so it is $2 for four.

Butter-I always get my butter at Costco.  It is $7.79 for 4 boxes (16 oz), making these about $1.95 each.  I have yet to see an ad or deal that I can get butter cheaper.  I will probably need at least two boxes for all this baking, so I will put the price of this at $3.90

Rolls-Albertson's has Kings Hawaiian Rolls on sale for $3 this week.  I have a $1/1 coupon and a doubler, so I will get these for $1.  Also, the Rhodes rolls (dinner rolls) are on sale for $2.50 and I have a $1/1 coupon, so I will get these for $0.50.  So, total of $1.50 for rolls.  I will also be getting a thing of refrigerated crescent rolls for FREE for buying two Little Smokies at Albertsons.

Sesame Seeds-I got these at Winco and the final price was somewhere under $1, but since I cannot find all that paperwork from before Christmas, I will just list this as $1

2 Cream Cheese-Safeway last week had an ISC for $0.99 Lucerne cream cheese and I had a $1/2 coupon, so it ended up being $0.98 for two  Albertsons actually has a better deal with doublers on this, also.  They have cream cheese for $0.99 each, so buy 2 for $1.98.  Use the $1/2 coupon and double it, making this FREE

Whipping Cream-I haven't seen this any cheaper than I got it at Costco.  I got a whole half gallon for $6.99.

Lemon Jello-Safeway had these on sale for $1.25 and pudding for $1 so I got 3 puddings and a jello.  I had a coupon for $1/4, so the total price for the jello was $1

Brown Sugar-I got brown sugar at Safeway for $2

Crushed Pineapple-Safeway has Dole pineapple on sale 10/$10, so this was $1

Marachino Cherries-I got these at Winco for $1.25

Candied Pineapple-I got these in the bulk section at Winco for less than a dollar, also, but will call it $1

Candied Cherries-These were a little pricey.  I probably could have gotten these cheaper elsewhere, also, but didn't have time.  I spent $3 on these.

Cranberries-I got a whole bag of Craisins (a big bag, too) back in October at Costco for $2.99

Chopped Dates-These were "expensive," too, and I ended up spending $3 on these, also.

Rice Krispies-Rite Aid had Rice Krispies on sale for $1.88 last week and I had a $2/2 coupon making a box $0.88

Molasses-I ended up having some of this on my shelf, so I didn't go buy any.  I did price it out, but that is on my missing list as well.

Marshmallows-Last week Safeway had its brand of marshmallows (reg. $1.59) on sale for $0.99 and I had a coupon for $0.50/1, so a bag was $0.49

Fudge Brownie Mix-I got this on sale at Safeway for $0.99

Vegetable Oil-Last week at Albertsons, they had Wesson Cooking Oil (reg.5.49) on sale for $1.99 (if you bought 10 participating products) and then I had a $1/1 coupon, so I got a bottle for $0.99

Eggs-Safeway has 18 count eggs for $1.99 this week with an ISC

Semisweet Chocolate-Albertson's has Nestle morsels on sale for $1.99.  I have a $1/2 coupon, doubled, makes it $1.98 for two bags.

Toffee Bits-These were expensive, too, because I could not find a coupon for this anywhere!  I paid $2.50 for these (and ended up not even using it!)

Powdered Sugar-I didn't buy this either because I had some.  And I lost the price that I found it at.

Onions-Safeway had sweet yellow onions on sale $1/lb.  There is a $3 of a $10 produce purchase you can load onto your Safeway card, so I did that. I got about three pounds tonight making this $3.00

Oranges-These are $0.50/lb right now, so with 4 pounds it is $2

Yams-Safeway had these for $0.99/lb, so I got 5 pounds, making this $4.95

Celery-I got this at Safeway when I got the Potatoes.  It was $0.74 a pound, so it was around $1.11.  (I just saw in Fred Meyer's ad for this week, though, that their celery is $0.59/lb-poo!)

Parsley-I got a bunch of this at Winco for $0.58

Potatoes-Tomorrow (12/18) Safeway has 10lb bags of Russett potatoes for $0.88

Fresh Green Beans-Safeway has bags of fresh green beans (12 oz, trimmed and washed already) for $3.99 each and right now they are B1G1, so total will be $3.99. (Fred Meyers are $1.68/lb this week, so definitely cheaper here, too. :( )

And of course make sure to take the $3 off of the produce (-$3).


Cool Whip-Albertsons has Cool Whip on sale for $0.99 each.  I have a coupon for $1/2.  So, if I buy two and double the coupon, these will be FREE

Nestle Cookie Dough-Albertsons has these for 2/$4 this week.  I have two $1/1 coupons with doublers, makes these FREE

Coffeemate Creamer-Albertsons has these for 2/$5 (the big 32 oz ones).  I have two $1/1 coupons with doublers, this make these $1 for two of them!

Welch's Sparkling Grape Juice-A while back Walgreens had this on sale for $3 each and they had a day when it was 15% off with a Friends and Family pass.  I also had $2/2 coupon and a $1/2 Walgreens coupon, so I was able to get these for $1.10 each or $4.40 total.
Motts Medleys Juice-Safeway had these on sale for $1.99 the other day and there was a $1/1 coupon on a tear pad near by, so I got three of them at $0.99 each or $2.97 total.
Soda-Albertson's has soda this week 4/$10.  This is a smokin' deal!  I try to get my soda (Pepsi/Coca-cola) at $3 or under each, and rarely is it $3.  Safeway does 5/$15 often (buy 2, get 3), but it is still $3.  So, to have them be $2.50 is great!  I will probably be stocking up on this price! 

Crackers-Albertson's has Nabisco crackers on sale for $1.99.  I have two $1/1 coupons and one $1/2 coupon, all doubled, so I will get two Wheat Thins for FREE and one Ritz for $0.99 and one Triscuit for $0.99 making this $1.98
Dip-Albertson's has Dean's Dip for $2.  I have two $1/1 coupons, doubled, makes two dips FREE
Satsumas-If I get around to it, Fred Meyer has Clementine or Satsuma Mandarins for $3.98 for 5lb box.  I have a $0.55/1 coupon, making these $3.40 
Brie Cheese-Albertsons has President Brie cheese for $5.99 and B1G1.  There is a supposed tear pad close to them for $1/1 and doubled, this would make them $1.99 for two

Little Smokies-Albertsons has these on sale for $2.50.  I have two $1/1 coupons, doubled, making these $0.50 each, or $1.00
Bacon-We have a bunch of bacon that we got when we got the pig, but I also got a package for FREE from Winco a few weeks ago.

I will update this as I get more of it.  I know I have gotten some of the other stuff already, I will just have to go back and look at receipts to see how much I paid for it.  :)

So, total of what I have here is $88.49.  Not too shabby for a holiday meal for that many people.  

Review of Chicken and Dumplings

This recipe was super easy to make and actually pretty good!  I was a little skeptical of the whole gravy part of it, but it turned out really well!  Everyone who ate it at my house (including my picky 4 year old) really enjoyed the meal and I will definitely be making this again! 

The only thing that I would change on this recipe might be the fresh vegetables.  I know, it is healthier that way probably, but if you did not have to cut up vegetables, it would be quicker.  I don't know.  I guess it didn't take THAT much time to cut them up.  We'll see what I do next time!  :)

Salmon Cowell

Makes 4 servings

1/4 cup frozen orange juice concentrate
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
1 tbsp reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 tbsp grated ginger root
1 tsp grated orange zest
Pinch crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
4 boneless, skinless salmon fillets (about 5 oz each)

1.  Whisk together all marinade ingredients in a small bowl.  Place salmon in a large, heavy-duty, resealable plastic bag.  Add marinade and seal bag.  Turn bag several times to coat salmon with marinade.  Marinate in refrigerator for 30 minutes.

2.  Preheat grill to medium setting.  Remove salmon from marinade (reserve marinade) and place on a grill rack that has been coated with cooking spray or lightly brushed with oil.  Grill for 3-4 minutes per side, until done (salmon should be slightly pink in the center).  Do not overcook salmon or it will be dry.  Baste salmon with reserved marinade during the last minute of cooking time, if desired.

TIP:  If you cannot grill the salmon, broil it.  Place fish on a baking sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray.  Broil 4 inches from heat source for about 8 minutes, turning salmon once, halfway through cooking time.  Salmon should flake easily when tested with a fork.

Recipe taken from:

Monday, December 13, 2010

Chicken and Dumplings (two meals)

Yields 2-6 serving casseroles

1/2 cup butter
2 cup carrot and celery sticks, finely chopped
1 cup diced onions
4 teaspoons minced garlic
2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
4 jars (12 oz each) chicken gravy
3 pounds chicken breast, cubed and cooked (or meat from a rotisserie chicken)
4 1/2 cups frozen petite peas
Salt and pepper to taste
4 cups baking mix (like Bisquick)
1 1/3 cup milk
4 teaspoons parsley

1.  Heat oven to 350°F.  Coat two 13 x 9 inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. 

2.  In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat.  Add carrot and celery, onions, garlic and poultry seasoning.  Cook until tender, about 5 minutes.  Add gravy.  Bring to a boil.  Stir in chicken and peas; season with salt and pepper.  Pour half into each baking dish.

3.  In a bowl, blend baking mix, milk and parsley until moist.  Drop by spoonfuls over filling (half per casserole).

4.  Cover and freeze one for up to 3 months.  Bake remaining casserole for 25 minutes.  Cover with foil and bake 10 minutes more or until dumplings are cooked.

TO USE FROZEN CASSEROLE:  Completely defrost in freezer and follow cooking instructions above.

Recipe taken and modified from Family Circle Magazine, December 2010

Sandie's Lasagna (two meals)

Yields 2-8 to 12 serving lasagnas

2 pounds ground beef
2 pounds ground Italian sausage
1 box (16 oz) lasagna noodles
3 jars (24 oz each) pasta sauce
2 cans (3.8 oz each) sliced olives
2 lb large curd cottage cheese
32 oz Mozzarella cheese, shredded

1.  Brown the ground beef and sausage; drain.  Add pasta sauce and olives.  Simmer until noodles are cooked.

2.  In a pot, bring water to a boil.  Cook noodles until tender.

3.  Spray 2 lasagna pans (I use the disposable ones from the dollar store) with cooking spray.  Layer 3 noodles, 2 cups meat sauce, 1/2 cup cottage cheese and 1 cup Mozzarella cheese.  Repeat so that there are 3 layers ending with 2 cups of Mozzarella cheese.

4.  Cover and freeze one for up to 3 months.  Cover and cook the other one for about 30 minutes at 350°F or until heated through.

TO USE FROZEN LASAGNA:  It is probably best to defrost it and then warm it up at 350°F until it is heated through (probably about 45 minutes).  If you can't defrost it, you can heat it at 425°F for an hour to an hour and a half until heated through.

Weekly Meal Plan, December 13-23

I am going to do a meal plan all the way until Christmas.  This will take some of the stress off of me to do another one the week of Christmas.  I also am doing my Christmas meal challenge, so that will be another post(s).  I am including a few "light" recipes in this menu plan.  I think I need to compensate for all the junk I will be/am eating over the holiday season!  :)

Here is the meal plan for this week and a half:

Sandie's Lasagna (two meals)
Chicken and Dumplings (two meals)
Cabbage Roll Casserole (two meals)
Gingered Beef Stir-Fry
Lick Your Chops
Salsa Chicken Skillet
Salmon Cowell

Hope you enjoy!!  :)

About time!!!  I have TOTALLY been neglecting this blog!  I just feel terrible about saying I am going to come back and do something and then not actually doing it.  I don't really know if people actually read this blog, but if they do, I am totally sorry!  Life has been pretty crazy that last month or so it seems.  I feel like I am constantly doing something or playing catch up!!  Yikes!  But, I am going to do a meal plan now for this week and I will put up some local sales that are pretty good this week.

Also, I have been sort of getting into couponing lately.  I am not going to start putting all that stuff on this blog, too.  That would just be way too much work for me!  But there are quite a few blogs I "follow" that have great couponing ideas, suggestions, etc.  I will put those up here for those of you who would like to check them out.  Anyhow, I am going to plan out what I am serving for Christmas dinner (it is at my house this year and there will be 15 adults and 4 kids!!) if I can spend next to nothing on the meal.  This should be a fun challenge for me.  I will keep you posted on that, too!  :)

So, now I am going to do a meal plan, RIGHT NOW, and put it up here!  :)