Monday, March 31, 2014

Harris Teeter Produce Rewrap Deals: 3/29/14

I have increasingly grown to love the marked-down or rewrap produce section of Harris Teeter over the past few weeks.  So much so that I plan my shopping excursion to H.T. around the time that I know new rewrap produce will be on the racks -- typically around 10 am each day.  

Here's the rewrap produce that I snagged at my latest shopping trip:

Bananas -- 3.88 lbs, reg. $0.59/lb, reduced to $0.25/lb, paid $0.97 (hubs is in police academy and so we go through bananas like hot cakes to help prevent leg cramps due to the physical training he has to do, so I don't mind buying when they're a little ripe)
Green Onion -- Bag of 3 bunches, reg. $0.79 per bunch, paid $1 for all 3
Eggplant -- 1 lb 13 oz, reg. $1.99/lb, paid $0.50

I simply love finding bargains!!!

What are your recent great buys?  Please feel free to share a comment below! :D

Menu Plan Monday: 3/31/14-4/6/14

Another week has come & gone!

Would you believe that we've had some bad luck around here?  Our truck got stuck in some mud last night (we've had a lot of recent rain and he had pulled over into some grass to let a neighbor pass him who was driving in the opposite direction down our dirt road; the ground was saturated like a sponge and he ended up stuck axle-deep!).  With help from my father-in-law and another neighbor, the truck was pulled out of the mud this morning.

Also yesterday, my oldest daughter complained about a sore throat and severe headache.  I took her to the doctor this morning and, yep, strep throat.  She is allergic to antibiotics in the Amoxicillin family and had to get a script for a more expensive kind...WAY more expensive kind.  The pharmacy tech was able to apply a discount card towards the cost, which helped some.

So even with a few strokes of bad luck, I am optimistic.  Good came out of it all.

Onto the menu!  As you may recall from last week, I am posting my menu plans a week behind.  This gives me the opportunity to post some of the recipes during the week as we try new meals and/or eat meals that previously did not have a recipe posted.  Hopefully, you'll be inspired to try some of these and enjoy them yourself!

Monday -- Reuben Sandwiches (using leftover corned beef & a slice of cheese served on rye bread), Tuscan Vegetable Medley, Sliced Mango & Kiwi
Tuesday -- Chicken Chili with crackers (I used a new recipe and it really did not come out well -- will NOT be making this version again and, therefore, no need to share the recipe!)
Wednesday -- Venison Stroganoff & Pretzel Bun Sandwiches, Broccoli with garlic, Wax Beans
Thursday - Poultry Seasoned MeatballsBaked Italian Bread With Herb Butter, Onion-Roasted Potatoes, Baked Carrots
Friday -- Hot Dog Supper & Potluck at church for our Cub Scout's Pinewood Derby.  I brought Boston Baked Beans and Bread Pudding
Saturday -- dinner at a friend's house
Sunday -- Meatballs & Gravy (mushroom gravy served over store-bought Italian meatballs), Fruit Salad, box of stuffing, leftover Boston Baked Beans.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Wok's for Dinner: Poultry Seasoned Meatballs

Meatballs are always a hit with my family.  I have a couple recipes that I usually stick to, but once in awhile I like to pull something different out of my recipe hat just to keep the family on their toes. ;D

This particular recipe came from my grandmother.  I've made it only a few times, but I always like it.  And the family definitely chowed down on these, as usual, which of course made me one happy mama.  My husband even saved some meatballs to eat for breakfast this morning!!

Poultry Seasoned Meatballs

20 oz ground turkey (you can also use ground beef, ground chicken, or ground venison)
1 1/2 sleeves unsalted saltine crackers, crushed fine (my Grandma uses 20 Ritz crackers in her recipe)
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1 large onion, diced fine
2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 Tbsp poultry seasoning
2 cans (10 3/4 oz each) tomato soup
1 Tbsp olive oil

Mix all ingredients well in a medium bowl except sou and olive oil.  Shape mixture into meatballs.  Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat; add meatballs and brown on all sides.  Drain any grease, leaving at least 1 tsp of oil in skillet.  Turn heat to low and add tomato soup.  Stir well, scraping any meat drippings in the skillet.  Fill both soup cans 3/4 full of water; pour into skillet with the soup and stir well.  Cover; let meatballs and soup mixture simmer for 20-30 minutes on low heat.

Spectacular Sides: Baked Italian Bread With Herb Butter

I grew up on buttered & baked Italian / French bread, but I've only made it a few times since getting married 13 years ago.  Not sure why, other than I just don't think of it very often.  But when I do make it, I like to use homemade Herb Butter to give it some special flavoring.

Baked Italian Bread With Herb Butter

1 stick butter or margarine
2 tsp Italian seasoning
1 tsp thyme leaves
1 tsp parsley leaves
1 loaf Italian bread, or use a loaf of French bread

Cream butter or margarine with a fork.  Mix in herbs well and chill.  Add more or less of your favorite herbs to suit your taste!  Slice bread loaf with bread knife.  Spread herb butter on one side of each slice.  Form slices back into "loaf" shape and place on baking sheet.  Bake in preheated 450 F oven for 5-7 minutes.  Serve as a side to your favorite dish!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Dollar General: coupon for $5 off $25 purchase

Print your Dollar General $5 off $25 coupon here, along with over 50 other Dollar General store and manufacturer coupons available for printing!

Don't have a printer?  You can text "5off" to 34898 for a text alert mobile coupon, or click here for a list of all mobile coupons and specials.

Save A Lot 3-day Sale: 3/28/14-3/30/14

Save A Lot has announced their 3-day sale for this weekend!!  If you join the Smart Shopper Club, you'll receive an email notification each Friday for that weekend's 3-day sale.  Some of the deals are usually waaaay to good to pass up, and this weekend is no exception.  Here is a summary of the best mark-downs they are offering (sales can vary store-to-store, so be sure to check with your local Save A Lot to ensure what deals they are featuring).

Carrots -- Mini Carrots, 16 oz, $0.69
Lunch Makers -- Armor Lunch Makers, 2.6-3.1 oz, $0.88
Bread -- Sara Lee 100% Classic Wheat Bread, 20 oz loaf, $1.49

My email also says they are featuring limited-time specials on fresh meat & fresh produce; prices will be posted at local Save A Lot stores.

Happy shopping!

Delicious Desserts: Bread Pudding

My son's Cub Scout troop had their Pinewood Derby tonight at our church, which hosted a hot dog supper for the scouts and everyone who participated.  The sides & desserts were potluck.  I made my first ever Bread Pudding, which I almost didn't make because I first thought  that it would be too complicated.  Lo and behold, I received compliment after compliment.  One gentleman said it was the best Bread Pudding he'd had since his mom made it...70 years ago!  Without a doubt, the nicest & bestest compliment I could have received for a first time Bread Pudding maker. :D

BTW, our son had a blast racing his car.  He didn't win but had fun hanging with his Cub Scout buds.  On the other hand, his sister made a pinewood derby car and raced in the family derby, winning 3rd place!  We are thrilled with the job both of our kiddos did.

Onto the recipe!

Bread Pudding

1 loaf bread, sliced & torn into chunks
2 tsp cinnamon
3 Tbsp sugar
3 Tbsp butter or margarine
3 cups skim milk
4 eggs, beaten
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup dried cranberries (or raisins, if you prefer)
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg, beaten
2 tsp imitation vanilla
1 tsp imitation rum extract

Arrange torn chunks of bread in bottom of a 13x9" baking dish.  Microwave 3 Tbsp butter or margarine in a small bowl for about 10-15 seconds; mix in 3 Tbsp cinnamon and 3 Tbsp sugar then brush on top of bread.  In a medium bowl, mix together milk, 4 eggs, 3/4 cup sugar and dried cranberries.  Pour over bread and let sit one hour.  Heat oven to 350 F.  Set baking dish into a large baking sheet.  Add enough water to baking sheet to fill it about halfway (this prevents the bread pudding from scorching).  Bake 1 hour until set and slightly browned.  Meanwhile, melt 1/2 cup butter or margarine (1 stick) in a medium bowl in microwave for about 30 seconds.  Stir in sugar.  Microwave an additional 15 seconds.  Stir, then slowly add 1 beaten egg, stirring constantly while adding egg.  Stir in vanilla and rum extract.  Poke holes in bread pudding with a knife, poking all the way to bottom of pan.  Pour rum sauce over bread pudding.  Serve & enjoy!!

Checkout 51: Get Cash Back For Shopping!

I've recently seen a lot of blogs include Checkout 51 offers with grocery deals, and thought it was about time that I looked into this website.  I sure am glad that I did!

This site is awesome!  It works like this: 1) buy products on the list of available offers, 2) upload a photo of your receipt showing the purchase of item(s) on said list, 3) get cash back!!

Here are a few of the deals available now:

MIlk, 1 gallon, any brand, $0.50 cash back, excludes flavored and non-dairy varieties
Tomatoes, any variety, $0.25 cash back, excludes canned tomatoes
Glass / Multisurface Cleaner, Windex, any spray variety, $0.75 cash back
Cereal, Kellogg's Frosted Mini-Wheats, any variety, $1 cash back WYB 2, both items must appear on same receipt, excludes single serve packs
Cereal, Special K, any variety, $1 cash back WYB 2, both items must appear on same receipt
Cough Drops, HALLS Drop Bags, 17 ct or higher, any variety, $1 cash back WYB 2, both items must appear on same receipt
Cheese Sticks, Frigo Cheese Heads, 5 oz or larger, any variety, $0.35 cash back
Imitation Crab Meat, Trans-Ocean Crab Classic, any variety, $1 cash back

Hurry!  These offers end on Wednesday, April 2 at 11:59pm EDT!!

Harris Teeter General Mills Promo

Now, through April 1, Harris Teeter has a General Mills promotion.  Buy 10 participating items, get $5 instant savings* off your total!  Click here for details.

*Tip:  If you decide to use this deal, I recommend that you purchase your items in a separate transaction from any other purchases.  I have found that I don't always get the instant savings, and it's easier to see the discrepancy, especially when I've calculated the subtotal of all items, any coupons used and multiplied, if applicable, sales tax, and final after instant savings.  The cashier or CSM can fix the issue immediately before paying, rather than if you wait until you get home only to find out that you didn't get your instant savings or something else went wrong.

Harris Teether e-VIC Specials 3/28/14-4/1/14

Here are some of the awesome e-VIC offers Harris Teeter is offering to select customers.  Check your email to see if you're one of them!!

Weekend offers -- Valid ONLY Saturday 7am 3/29/14 thru Sunday 3/30/14:
Brawny paper towels, 6 or 8 roll, $4.97 limit 2, use $1/1 Brawny towels printable when you register, (print 2 copies, both coupons double since it's Super Coupon Doubles week), makes it $2.97 each)
Milk,1 gallon, $2.97, limit 2

e-VIC offers -- Valid now through Tuesday 4/1/14:
Sister Schubert's rolls (located in the freezer aisle -- these are soooo good!), select varieties, $1.97, limit 2, use $0.75 Sister Schubert's printable (print  2 copies, both coupons double), makes it $0.47 each
Harris Teeter Organics frozen vegetables, 16 oz, $1.97, limit 2
Fresh Foods Market pizza, 26-33 oz, $4.97, limit 2

Wok's For Dinner: Venison Stroganoff & Pretzel Bun Sandwiches

These sandwiches are soooo good!  The whole family enjoys when we have Stroganoff Sandwiches.  This was the first time that I used pretzel buns -- and wow were they delicious!!!!!  I bought the pretzel buns in the bakery section of the grocery store, but I really think that I need to find a good homemade recipe and try making them from scratch.  Hamburger buns work really well with this recipe, which is what I have used in the past.

Venison Stroganoff & Pretzel Bun Sandwiches

1 lb ground venison (you can use ground beef, ground turkey, or ground chicken if you prefer)
1 med. onion, chopped
2-3 fresh button mushrooms, chopped (or 1 can (4 oz) mushroom stems & pieces)
1 can (10 3/4 oz) cream of mushroom soup
1 tub (6oz) nonfat plain Greek yogurt (or 1 tub (8 oz) sour cream)
Salt & pepper, to taste
4 pretzel buns
Cheese slices, if desired

Brown meat, onion and mushrooms in large skillet over medium heat.  Drain any grease.  Reduce heat; add soup and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes.  Stir in yogurt or sour cream.  Salt and pepper o taste.  Serve on pretzel buns with a slice of cheese.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

What's on Sale This Week #2: 3/26/14 - 3/29/14

Here's the 2nd installment / summary of some of the best sale items this week. :D

Food Lion:
Celery -- $1.29 ea
Fresh Pineapple -- $2.59 ea
Shrimp -- Food Lion Raw or Cooked Shrimp 16 oz pkg, 41-50 ct, Buy 1 Get 1 Free reg. $12.99 ($6.50), use $1.25 off Food Lion Shrimp 16 oz 41-50 ct store coupon (EXP 3/31)
Chicken -- Whole Chicken $0.99/lb
Deodorant -- Degree Deodorant 2.6-3 oz $2.50, use $0.50/1 Shopper's Companion Email 3/25 coupon, makes it $2
Vegetables -- My Essentials Frozen Vegetables 16 oz, select varieties, $0.97
Cat Food -- Purina Kit & Kaboodle 13 lb $8.49 ea
Deli / Bakery -- Various items on sale, use $1 off $5 purchase Shopper's Companion Email 3/25 coupon.  I found mini Italian Loaf Bread for $1.19 and 4 ct Pretzel Buns for $2.99 when I visited Food Lion this morning.

Harris Teeter:  It's Super Doubles week!  Coupons with face value up to $2 are doubled!!
Salad Dressing -- Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing 16 oz e-VIC price $1.97 limit 2
Fresh Pork -- Pork Country Style Ribs $1.49/lb, Smithfield Whole Boston Butt $1.29/lb
Chicken -- Perdue Simply Smart Chicken Tenders 11.2-12 oz Buy 1 Get 1 Free reg. $4.99, use $0.75/1 Perdue Simply Smart printable, makes it $1
Dried Fruit -- Ocean Spray Craisins or Trail Mix 5oz Buy 2 Get 3 Free limit 10 total, makes it $1.16 each
Pasta Sauce -- Ragu Pasta Sauce 16-24 oz Buy 2 Get 3 Free limit 10 total, makes it $1 each
Sports Drink -- Powerade 32 oz $0.79 each
Cheese -- Harris Teeter String Cheese 12 oz 2/$6
Refrigerated Biscuits -- Harris Teeter Jumbo Flaky Buttermilk Biscuits 16 oz $1
Mangoes -- Champagne or Extra Large Mangoes $1 each
Oranges -- Cara Cara Navel Oranges $0.99 each
Blackberries  -- Farmers Market Fresh Blackberries 2/$6
Grapefruit -- Rio Red Grapefruit $1 each
Unfortunately, I'm having extreme difficulty getting the Harris Teeter e-VIC coupon site to load on my PC today.  There are LOTS of manufacturer & e-VIC coupon match-ups available but my PC just will not cooperate.  Check out Jenny at Southern Savers's H.T. coupon match-ups herehere and here for lots of shopping possibilities!

Happy Shopping!

Kellogg's Family Rewards -- 1000 points bonus code!

Like free stuff?  Free high value coupons?  If so, then joining Kellogg's Family Rewards just might be what you're looking for!

Right now, KFR is offering a free 1000-point bonus code!

If you haven't done so already, register at KFR or log in, and enter the bonus code:


Tuesday, March 25, 2014

What's On Sale This Week #1: 3/26/14-3/29/14

Here is a small sampling of the hot items on sale at the stores this week!

Milk - Milk 1 gallon $3.29/gal (not my preferred price, but still WAY better than the regular price at the grocery store!  Sam's Club usually runs about $3.15/gal if you have a club account.)
Cocoa Mix - Swiss Miss Hot Cocoa 6 pk 2/$2, reg. price $1.29 each
Tuna - Bumble Bee Chunk Light Tuna 5 oz $0.69 when you use the store coupon in the weekly circular, limit 6
Peanuts - Planters Peanuts 16 oz 2/$6, use two (2) $1 off Planters peanuts printable plus $1/2 Planters nuts 8-16 oz store coupon in March Walgreens coupon booklet, makes it $1.50 each
Candy -- Hershey's Candy 1.4-2 oz $0.59 when you use the store coupon in the weekly circular, limit 3
Anti-Diarrheal Medicine - Vaprine A-D Anti-Diarrheal 12 pk $5, receive $5 Register Rewards Catalina coupon at check-out when you buy 1, like getting it for FREE after RR
Misc. Medicines - various Walgreens and ALL Well brand medicines (ibuprofen, hot & cold therapy, allergy relief, etc.) are on sale Buy 1 Get 1 50% off
Tape - Wexford Heavy Duty Packing Tape 1.88" x 24.4 yds $0.99
Shampoo / Conditioner - 2000 Balance Reward Points ($2) WYB Tresemme Shampoo or Conditioner 32 oz, $3.99 each, use two (2) Tresemme shampoo or conditioner coupons in the 3/23 Red Plum newspaper insert, like paying $0.99 each after BR points

Diapers -- CVS Diapers or Training Pants Jumbo Pk $6.99 limit 1, receive $3 ECB upon check-out, like paying $3.99
Cereal -- General Mills Cereal 8.9-13oz $2.50 limit 1 offer WYB 2 items, use $0.60/1 Chex printable plus $0.60/1 Cinnamon Toast Crunch printable, plus Savings Star $0.50/1 Chex ecoupon, plus Savings Star $0.50/1 Cinnamon Toast Crunch ecoupon, receive $2 ECB upon check-out, like paying $0.40 each
Paper Towel -- Just The Basics paper towel roll 1 roll $0.79, use $0.79/1 JTB paper towel single roll at the CVS Coupon Center, makes it FREE

Rite Aid:
Baby Food -- Gerber 2nd Foods 2 pk $1.50, receive $3 +UP WYB 2, like getting it for FREE
Wipes -- Huggies Baby Wipes or Pull-ups Wipes 51-72 ct $2.50 limit 2, use two (2) $1/1 Huggies Pull-ups Big Kid Flushable Wipes printable, receive $1 +UP WYB 2, like paying $1 each

Pizza -- Archer Farms Frozen Pizza 12.3-16.6 oz 2/$9 OR Buy , 3 Get 1 Free, use $1.25/2 store printable plus 5% Archer Farms Frozen Pizza Target Cartwheel coupon (EXP 3/29), makes it $3.68 each
Vegetables - Market Pantry Frozen Vegetables 10-12 oz $0.80, use $1/4 Market Pantry frozen vegetables store printable (EXP 3/29) plus 5% Market Pantry Target Cartwheel, makes it $0.52 each
Bars/Cookies/Crackers -- Kashie Bars, Cookies or Crackers $3.74  Buy 3 Get 1 FREE, use $1/1 Kashie Crunchy Granola and Seed Bars, chocolate chip or honey oat flax, 10 ct Ibotta App mobile coupon
Hand Soap -- Up & Up Antibacterial Clear Hand Soap Refill 64 oz $4.49, use 5% Up & Up Hand Soap Target Cartwheel, makes it $4.27
Hair Care -- Garnier Fructis Shampoo or Conditioner 25.4 oz $4.99, use $1/1 Garnier shampoo, conditioner or treatment item printable plus $5 off $15 hair care purchase in-ad 3/23 coupon or text TARGETHAIR to 827438 (EXP 3/29)

Dollar General:
Vegetables -- Libby's Cut Green Beans, Corn or Peas, 4 pk $2; OR Clover Valley Tomatoes or Vegetables, 2 for $1 (must purchase 2)

Dollar Tree:
Pepperoni -- Hormel Pepperoni 3.5 oz $1, use $1/2 Hormel Pepperoni printable, makes it $0.50 each
Popcorn -- Act II Popcorn 3 pk $1
Olives -- Mario Olives 2.3 oz $1, use $0.30/1 Mario Olives printable, makes it $0.70 each

Family Dollar:
Bottled Water -- Family Gourmet Distilled or Drinking Water 1 gal $1
Napkins -- Value Option Napkins 150 ct $1

Carlie C's IGA:
Orange Juice -- Donald Duck Orange Juice 59 oz $1.59
Lettuce -- Red or Green Leaf Lettuce $0.99 each
Vegetables -- Pictsweet Steamables 10 oz $1
Shave Cream -- Brut Shave Foam 9.5 oz $1
Soap -- Brut Revolution or Classic Bar Soap 7 oz $1
Hot Dogs -- John Morrell Meat Franks 12 oz $0.88
Sausage Links -- Tasty Links 7 oz or John Morrell Sausage Links 12 oz $1
Pepperoni -- Amour Sliced Pepperoni 3 oz $1
Ice Cream -- Haagen-Dazs 3.6 oz OR Edy's 5.8 oz $1
Hot Sauce -- Texas Pete Hot Sauce 3 oz 2/$1

Be on the look-out for a summary of Harris Teeter and Food Lion sales for the week!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Menu Plan Monday: March 24, 2014

It's been quite a long time since I particpated in Org Junkie's Menu Plan Monday.  Of course, taking a break from blogging had something to do with it. :)

Even without blogging my weekly menu, I promise you, promise you, promise you, I stick to creating a meal plan each week, typically on Mondays.  I bought a super large sticky note pad, about 6"x8", which I hang on my freezer door, and each week, I start a new sheet of paper on the note pad, listing the days of the week, what's going on during the evening that may interfere or affect dinner, and what meals we'll eat each night of the week.  It is a HUGE help for me and great visual for the family.  When they ask, "what's for dinner," I simply point to the menu list on the freezer.  Plus, it saves me the 5pm hassle of trying to put together dinner at the last minute!!

Here's what we had for dinner last week.  I've chosen to be a week behind.  This gives me the opportunity to take pictures of our meals, post the recipes during the week, then link my menu plan to those recipes later on.

Monday -- Slow Cooker Corned Beef and vegetables
Tuesday -- Balsamic Chicken Salad, Yellow Wax Beans, Cheddar Biscuits, Horned Melon
Wednesday -- Pizza Casserole
Thursday -- We had our monthly women's meeting at church.  I brought 3 different salads for dinner: Pudding Fruit Salad, Vegetable & Basil Pasta Salad, and Healthy Carrot & Craisin Salad
Friday -- Cajun-Seasoned Chicken (really simple, just cooked 2 boneless/skinless chicken breasts in a large skillet with aobut 1 Tbsp EVOO, sprinkling both sides of chicken with cajun seasoning and salt, cooking chicken breasts for about 10 minutes each side until juices ran clear--delicious!!!), leftover salads from Thursday night
Saturday -- Sandwiches or cereal.  We saw a movie late in the afternoon, and with the popcorn and theatre-size box candy, no one was really hungry for a big meal.
Sunday -- Shredded Chicken Tacos (another simple fix, using leftover chicken from Tuesday & Friday, shredded the chicken with a fork, placed in a large skillet with about 1/4 cup water, seasoned with some cumin and cajun seasoning, simmered over medium-low heat until liquid was reduced)

Spectacular Sides: Pudding Fruit Salad

I have seen numerous variations of this recipe in cookbooks and online.  All of them have pudding and fruit in common.  I love this version the best.  You can use fresh or canned fruit, and mix up the flavors of pudding according to your own tastes (banana, vanilla, tapioca, and/or lemon).  Another great thing about t this salad is that kids (of all ages) love it.  What's not to like about fruit and pudding? :D

Here's how I make my version.

Pudding Fruit Salad

1 pkg (3 oz) instant vanilla pudding
1 pkg (3oz) instant banana pudding
1 can (10 oz) mandarin oranges
1 fresh pineapple, sliced into chunks, or 1 can (15 oz) pineapple chunks
1 pear, peeled & corec, cut into 1-inch chunks, or 1 can (10 oz) diced pears
10-12 Maraschino cherries
2 bananas, sliced

Drain canned fruit, reserving juice.  Add water to juice to make 3 cups liquid.  Cook pudding mixes in a 3qt saucepan with liquid over medium heat.  Cool slightly, then pour into medium bowl.  Stir in fruit.  Refrigerate.  Serve chilled.

Spectacular Sides: Vegetable & Basil Pasta Salad

I love this salad -- so light & refreshing.  You can serve it warm or chilled, depending upon your preference. 

Vegetable & Pasta Salad

6 oz uncooked pasta (I used linguine in the picture above)
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1 1/2 cup broccoli
1-2 med. carrots, shredded
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp chopped fresh basil, or 1 tsp dried basil
1 glove garlic, minced
6 cherry or grape tomatoes, sliced in half
Grated Parmesan cheese, optional

Cook pasta according to package directions; drain & set aside.  Meanwhile, melt butter or margarine in large skillet.  Add remaining ingredients except tomatoes and Parmesan.  Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 4-6 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender.  Add tomatoes; continue cooking an additional 2-3 minutes.  Stir in pasta until heated through.  Stir in some grated Parmesan, if desired.

Spectacular Sides: Healthy Carrot & Craisin Salad

Looking for a healthy alternative side dish to your meals, something beyond the mundane green beans, peas, corn or carrots?  I loved traditional Carrot & Raisin Salad when I was a kid, but it's not exactly "healthy."  Several years ago, I came across this healthier version, and loved it.  You can use either raisins or dried cranberries (craisins), depending upon your taste buds.  Raisins give it a sweet quality; dried cranberries a tartness.  Another great thing to note about this recipe is that it is super easy to make!

Healthy Carrot & Craisin Salad

4 med. carrots, shredded
1/4 cup dried cranberries or raisins
2 tsp sugar
juice of 1 lemon

In a medium bowl, thoroughly combine all ingredients.  Serve chilled.

Friday, March 21, 2014

What's On Sale This Week #2: 3/19/14 - 3/22/14

Yep, I realize that today is March 20 -- 1st day of Spring!! -- and that the day is nearly over, and here I am osting sales that started yesterday...but this is the first week I've attempted posts of this nature, so I can at least take comfort in that knowing that I'm behind getting the posts out.  The good news is that the sales aren't over yet. :D

As promised, here's a follow-up to yesterday's post with additional sale items for the week:

Food Lion:
ProduceShopper's Companion coupon $1 off $5 purchase in the produce department (this is one that Food Lion emailed to me as a Shopper's Companion email participant
Oranges - Navel Oranges 4 lb bag $3.99
Pears - Asian Pears $1.29/lb; Red, Bosc, or Jumbo Anjou Pears $1.49/lb
Juice Pouches - Capri Sun 10 pk $1.89
Beef - Top Round London Broil $2.99/lb
Chicken - Chicken Leg Quarters, 10 lb bag, $0.69/lb
Pasta Sauce - Ragu Pasta Sauce 16-26 oz 2/$3, use $1/2 Red Plum 3/09 newspaper insert, makes it $1 each
Candy - M & M's Chocolate Candies buy 1 1.14 oz - 1.74 oz get 1 M & M's Pretzel Chocolate Candies FREE using store coupon here
Yogurt - Yoplait Yogurt 4-6 oz 10/$0.50, use $0.40/6 MVP Savings Kiosk coupon, makes it $0.43 each
Applesauce - Food Lion Applesauce 6 pk $1.69, use $0.50/1 store coupon, makes it $1.19
Waffles - My Essentials Frozen Waffles 10 ct $1.98, use $$0.75/1 store coupon, makes it $1.23

Harris Teeter::
E-VIC UNADVERTISED (available to select e-VIC members only):
Bottled Water - Harris Teeter 24 pk Bottled Water $1.97 each limit 2 (weekend offer only)
Yogurt - Dannon, Dannon Light & Fit, Activia 4 pk $1.27 limit 2
Sausage Links - Banquet Brown & Serve Sausage Links 6.4 oz $0.87 limit 2
Broccoli - Organic Bunch Broccoli $1.97 limit 2
Yogurt - Harris Teeter Blueberry Greek Yogurt 4 pk $3.79
Refrigerated Biscuits- Pillsbury Flaky, Breadsticks or Pizza Crust 11-13.8 oz 3/$5, use $0.40/2 Pillsbury Breadsticks Rolls or Dinner Rolls from Smart Source 3/09 newspaper insert, coupon doubles, makes it $1.27 each
Eggs - Harris Teeter Grade A Large Eggs 1 doz $0.99
Mangoes - Large Mangoes 10/$10
Lemons - Large Lemons 5/$3
Grapefruit - Rio Red Grapefruit 10/$10
Fresh Bread - Fresh Baked Small French & Wheat Breads $0.99
Canned Chicken - Harris Teeter Canned White Chicken 4.5 oz $0.97
Spaghetti - Mueller's Sapghetti 13-16 oz $1, use $0.75/1 Mueller's pot-sized printable, coupon doubles, makes it FREE
Chicken - Chicken Leg Quarters 10 lb bag $0.69/lb
Specialty Cheese - 20% off specialty cheeses (feta, gouda, etc.) limit 1
Oreos - Nabisco Oreo Cookies 10-15.9 oz 2/$5
Popcorn - Pop Secret Popcorn 3ct $3.65 Buy 2 Get 3 Free, buy 5 use 2 $1 off printable , makes it $1.06 each
Salad Dressing - Ken's Salad Dressing 16 oz $3.49 Buy 1 Get 1 Free ($1.74), use $0.50/1 Ken's Dressing 16 oz coupon from Smart Source 3/02 newspaper insert, makes it $0.74

Happy Shopping!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Wok's For Dinner: Balsamic Chicken Salad

This salad recipe comes from the Taste of Home Ultimate Chicken Cookbook that I bought several years ago for next to nothing.  I served this chicken over a bed of fancy greens that I recently bought for dirt cheap.  (I'm all about finding ways to save!!)  Here's how I made my version, just slightly different than the original.  I loved how quick & simple this recipe was to make, as well as how light & refreshing it tasted.

Balsamic Chicken Salad

3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
6 grape tomatoes, halved
1 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
fancy salad greens

Saute' chicken in large skillet with minced garlic and olive oil until juices run clear.  Add vinegar, tomatoes, basil, salt & pepper; cook and stir until heated through.  Serve on a plate of salad greens.

For the original recipe, click here.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

What's on Sale This Week #1: 3/19/14-3/22/14

Hi everyone, and welcome to the first edition of What's On Sale!  I promised several of my friends in the local area to help them find the best deals available, and since I do it anyhow as I plan my own shopping trip, I decided that the best way to go about spreading the word would be to create a weekly blog post with this information.  So the purpose of this series is to pinpoint where to find the best deal on milk, bread, frozen vegetables, produce, pasta, etc.  Basically, if it's a price that I'm willing to pay, then I'll include it in the post!

I have chosen to use the weekly ad sale dates of the largest grocery stores in my local area, Food Lion and Harris Teeter, both of which typically run their sales Wednesday thru Tuesday each week.  Most of the other stores run Monday through Sunday.  In addition to Food Lion and Harris Teeter, I usually look at the online circulars for TargetSave A LotCarlie C's IGA, Walgreens, and/or CVS,  On rare occasions, I'll take a look at Family Dollar, Dollar General, and Ollie's.  And once in a blue moon, I'll plan a shopping trip to Dollar Tree or a tiny little grocery store near the house called Compare Supermarket (too tiny to have its own website) to see what deals I can snag.

In a typical week, I shop at 3-4 stores, depending on how good the sales are, what's in the budget to spend, and how my mood is (shopping with kids in tow can be trying!) 

Since I committed to finding all the best deals, I'll do my best to cover all the local territory, finding the best deals available to help you maximize your savings.  Although my target audience is family & friends in my local area, those of you who live elsewhere may certainly find plenty of bargains for national chains located near you.  Of course, sales vary by region, so check your local circulars and store's coupon policy.

Here's some of the best deals for the week:

Granola Bars - Market Pantry 6-8 ct granola bars $1.50, use 5% Target cartwheel coupon, makes it $1.43
Ice Cream Bars - Magnum Ice Cream Bars 3 pk $3.25, use $1.25 off Magnum ice cream bar multipak (zip 77477) printable, makes it $2
Frozen Pizza - Red Baron Multiserve Pizza 12 inch $3 + buy 3 bags Doritos 10 or 11 oz 3/$9 chips get 1 FREE 2-liter Pepsi product
Facial Tissue - Up & Up 4pk $4.99, use 5% Target cartwheel coupon, makes it $4.74
Adult Pain Medicine - Up & Up Ibuprofen 100 ct tablets $1.99, use 5% up & up Adult Pain Relief Target cartwheel coupon, makes it $1.85
Deodorant - Dove Deodorant 2.6 oz $3.79, use $1 off Dove Go Fresh printable here or $2 off Dove Advanced Care printable here, plus use $1 off Dove Deodorant Target printable, makes it $0.79 each + buy 3 Dove deodorant get FREE 500-ct Q-tips
Frozen Vegetables - Market Pantry Frozen Vegetables $0.99, use $1/4 Market Pantry Frozen Vegetables Target printable, plus 5% Target cartwheel coupon, makes it $0.70 each

Family Dollar:
Children's Pain Relief - Children's Advil 4oz $5, use $1.50 off Children's Advil (Facebook) printable, makes it $3.50

Dollar General:
Canned Tomatoes - Clover Valley Canned Tamatoes 2/$1
Oreos - Oreo Cookies 13.1-15.35 oz $2.50, use $1/2 Nabisco Oreo pks. 10.5 oz + coupon from Smart Source 2/09 newspaper insert, makes it $2 when you buy 2

Olives - Lindsay Olives 5-6 oz $0.99 limit 6 when you use store coupon
Toothpaste - Aim or Pepsodent 6 oz $0.89

Save A Lot:
Grapes - Red, Green or Globe Grapes $1.49/lb
Potatoes - Russet Potatoes 5 lb bag $1.49
Apples - Red Delicious Apples 5 lb bag $2.99
Oranges - Navel 3 lb bag $2.99
Strawberries - Strawberries 1 lb $1.99
Tomatoes - Roma Tomatoes $0.99/lb
Pork - Bone-iu Pork Sirloin Roast $1.29/lb
Shrimp - Port Side Cooked Shrimp 10 oz 70-90 ct $4.99
Pasta Sauce - Hunt's Pasta Sauce 24 oz $0.89
Tuna - Port Side Chunk Light Tuna in Water 5 oz $0.69
Margarine - Home Churned Spread 45 oz $1.99
Refrigerated Biscuits - Morning Delight Buttermilk Biscuits 7.5 oz 2/$1
Tomato Sauce - Diane's Garden Tomato Sauce 8 oz regular or no salt, 4/$1

Carlie C's IGA:
Sugar - Domino Granulated Sugar 4 lb $1.69
Bottled Water - IGA Water 24 pk 16.9-oz bottles 2/$5
Apple Juice - IGA 100% Apple Juice 64 oz $1.48
Mini Pizzas - Mr. P's Pizza 5-6.5 oz 2/$1
Apples - Granny Smith Apples 3 lb bag $2.79
Marshmallows - IGA Marshmallows 10.5 oz mini or 10 oz regular $0.69
Salt - IGA Salt 26 oz Plain or Iodized 3/$1
Juice Boxes - Hi-C Fruit Drinks 10 pk $1.98

Wok's For Dinner: Pizza Casserole

This is a definite crowd-pleaser whenever I make it.  My 7-year-old daughter was very pleased to inform me tonight that she had thirds.  I made my with ground venision, but you can use whatever type of ground meat you prefer -- beef, turkey, chicken, etc. 

Pizza Casserole

1 lb ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
1-2 button mushrooms, chopped
8 oz elbow or corkscrew macaroni, cooked
1 jar pizza sauce
8-10 black olives, sliced (optional)
3 oz pepperoni slices
1-2 cups shredded Mozzarella cheese
Paremsan cheese, grated (optional)

Brown ground beef with onion and mushrooms in large skillet until meat is no longer pink.  Drain fat.  Stir in cooked macaroni, pizza sauce, sliced olives, and pepperoni slices.  Spoon into a large casserole dish.  Sprinkle Mozzarella cheese on top.  Bake at 350 F for 30 minutes.  Serve with grated Parmesan on top, if dsired.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

A Better Breakfast: Banana & Vanilla Smoothie

I love making smoothies, although I don't do it as often as I would like.  This morning, I decided to make smoothies for hubs and I for breakfast since it had been a really long time.  We have a Magic Bullet, which I love.  I used only a few simple ingredients for this morning's smoothie and absolutely loved the result!!  So fresh, cold, delicious!

Banana & Vanilla Smoothie

1 banana
2 stalks bok choy
1 tub (5-6 oz) vanilla-flavored Greek yogurt
6-8 ice cubes
apple juice

Split banana in half, placing one half into Magic Bullet cup.  Rinse & pat dry bok choy.  Remove green fronds.  Cut stalks into 1-inch pieces.  Place half of the bok choy pieces into cup.  Add half of the vanilla-flavored Greek yogurt and 3-4 ice cubes.  Pour aple juice into cup until it is half-full.  Repeat steps with a second Magic Bullet cup.  (Note: recipe works well with a regular blender; simply add all ingredients into blender pitcher instead of dividing up.)

Pulse Magic Bullet / blender until all ingredients are smooth.  If using Magic Bullet cups, repeat with 2nd cup.  Serve & enjoy!!

Removing Those Nasty Cobwebs

While getting an onion down from my garlic/onion/potato basket, I noticed something brownish / grayish / ickyish dangling from the ceiling above.


So I grabbed a step stool and my trusty broom...

I know it's a little frayed, but it works pretty well when it comes to sweeping.

And also works great at removing cobwebs!

(Note to self: time to repaint the ceiling!!!!!)

Monday, March 17, 2014

Wok's For Dinner: Slow Cooker Corned Beef

Notice anything wrong with this picture? 

Yes, I forgot the cabbage.  No two ways about it, I completely forgot to add the cabbage!  What's corned beef on St. Patrick's Day without the cabbage?!?

Either way, it still tasted great!!!  I have made corned beef for St. Patrick's Day for at least the last 5 years, varying the recipe just about each time.  I think that I finally have it just the way I like it.  Here's how I made it this time (including how it would have been made with the cabbage had I remembered to add that oober-important vegetable):

Slow Cooker Corned Beef

4-5 medium potatoes, peeled & cut into 1-inch pieces
2 large carrots, peeled & cut into 2-inch long sticks
1 medium onion, chopped
1 3-4 lb corned beef brisket, with seasoning packet
1 cup apple juice
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1/8 tsp pepper
1 cabbage, cut into 8 thin wedges

Place and mix potatoes, onions & carrots in bottom of 6-qt slow cooker.  Trim fat from corned beef, then place on top of vegetables in slow cooker.  Sprinkle corned beef with seasoning packet (this should be in the package of corned beef).  Add apple juice and Worcestershire sauce, then sprinkle pepper on top.  Cover and cook for 7-8 hours on low heat.  About 30 minutes before serving time, remove corned beef from slow cooker and place on platter; cover to keep warm.  Add cabbage to slow cooker; stir cabbage into broth.  Cover slow cooker and cook on HIGH temp for 30 minutes or until cabbage is tender.  Slice corned beef and serve with vegetables.

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