Friday, February 8, 2008

Frugal Friday

Today over at Biblical Womanhood, Crystal posted an email from one of her readers looking for ways to use up food as a money saving strategy. Crystal gave some very good tips as to what to do with the abundance of leftovers.

One of her tips was to creatively re-make leftovers into "new" meals. I do this one a lot! I like to call them "leftover makeovers". Here is a list from a previous post of mine that I am going to share again along with some new ideas(other than soup! lol)....

1. Roasted Chicken and Gravy or Creamy Chicken can become several different things. I shred the chicken and add it to the gravy and make "Stewed Chicken Sandwiches". OR I combine the two and add leftover veggies to it and make Chicken Veggie Stew/Soup or Chicken Pot Pie or Chicken Noodle Soup.

2. Boiled or Baked Potatoes become Seasoned pan fries.

3. Roast, carrots and potatoes meal becames Veggie Stew. Or I take the leftover roast and add bq sauce to it for sandwiches. The leftover potatoes I cut up and make Cubed hashbrowns.

4. Chicken Rice Casserole leftovers make a good base for homemade Chicken Rice Soup.

5. Roasted Pork Loin gets bq sauce add to it for BQ Pork sandwiches. OR I make up some chicken gravy and heat up the pork in the gravy for Pork and Gravy.

6. Spaghetti Sauce gets used for Pizza Sauce on homemade pizzas.

7. Mashed Potatoes get put in a skillet with a pad of margarine and seasoned with seasoned salt, pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder for some seasoned potato cakes.

8. Taco meat(beef or chicken) gets made into taco salad, or put on top of a plate of nacho chips, or gets used in making quesadillas or Taco Soup.

9. Extra noodles(spaghetti, egg, elbow macaroni, etc) gets made into a pasta salad.

10. Burgers make into Salisbury Steak OR break them up and make hamburger gravy or use in spaghetti, chili, or goulash.

Along with what Crystal said, some other tips of mine would be to schedule in menu plans a "smorgasbord" at least once a week either for a lunch or dinner or both and require that everyone choose something from each food group and serve something freshly made for dessert(like a pan of warm brownies!)

Also, get containers that are microwaveable and make up some homemade TV dinners for one to pull out of the fridge for a lunch or even a snack. I know around my house when I do this it makes it easier to put hubby's lunch together that he takes to work. It is a whole lot cheaper than eating out every day for lunch too.

For other's frugal thoughts, head over to Crystal's blog-Biblical Womanhood!

***This post was mentioned over at Frugal Hacks in the Saturday Savings Smorgasbord***

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Works for Me Wednesday

It is all about shopping this week over at Rocks in my Dryer. Today's topic for Works for Me Wednesday is online shopping!

Where does one like to do their online shopping!?!

The top place that I love to online shop is Lands' End! I love looking thru their overstocks to see what kind of deals are featured. Just the other day, I found new gloves and mittens for two of my boys, who desperately needed some to replace their holey ones(that were not Lands' End--I learned my lesson!) My four oldest kids, hubby, and me all have winter coats from Lands' End. I also have gotten all the kids' snow flurry boats from there. I love their guarantee and the quality of their merchandise.

As for clothes for me, I love to shop at Chadwicks, Kohl's, and JcPenneys. Chadwicks is the best place so far that I have been able to find dresses for semi-formal or very dressy occasions. Need a dress for the mother of the bride or even bridesmaids at an affordable price ?? Chadwicks would be a place to look!

Sears is one of those places where I do more looking/price comparing than actual shopping online. I like going into a Sears store rather than shopping online cause the selection varies sooo much. Also I found that they have different prices for things online than what they do in the store. Last summer, I was looking online for a pair of sandals for my oldest son. I found a leather pair at Sears online for very reasonable price. I also saw that they were available "in store". So I thought instead of waiting for them to ship them to me I would go to the store and buy them there. Well I got to the store only to find that they were a totally different price and even a bit more than what the actual price plus shipping would have been if I had gotten them via online. Needless to say, I learned my lesson!

I love shopping at Sam's Club! I usually go there once a month and buy a majority of my groceries there. I have found that they have a "Click N Pull" option when you are shopping online. You can fill up your grocery cart online and they will pull the items for you and then you just have to go to the store and pick up and pay for your items. It saves alot of time and hassle, especially if you have to take your kids shopping with you.

Cousins Video is a new place to me. Hubby found this place and ordered some durable headphones for the kids to use with their computers. We had to send a couple of them back while they were under warranty and they gave us no hassles with returning or sending us new replacement ones.

With talking about online shopping, I have to give a little "plug" for the place that hubby does most of his shopping, Newegg. He gets a lot of our computer needs from there. He finds them very competitive with Best Buy or Circuit City with the computer needs.

Barnes and Noble, Christian book Distributors(CBD), Office Depot, and School Speciality-Education Essentials are the four places that I shop for getting what I need for my homeschooling supplies. If I can't find a book that I need used then I head to Barnes & Nobles or CBD for it. For laser printer paper and some school supplies, I head to Office Depot. For my charts/posters and other odds n ends, I head over to School Speciality. Before hubby changed jobs, I was able to get a discount at School Speciality thru this work! However, their prices are still decent without the discount.

So there you have it! Places I love to shop online and look for bargains! Online shopping is sooo much easier than hauling five kids around town in this winter wonderland that we are having right now in the Midwest!

To learn about more places to shop, visit the online shopping edition of Works for Me Wednesday at Rocks in My Dryer!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Kitchen Tip Tuesdays

Do you know what is in your fridge?? Tired of wasting good food?

Tired of having science projects in your fridge from leftovers that have been forgotten???

I got tired of wasting food or finding that something had gotten forgotten about and started a science project.

So I have developed a fridge "nerve center".

I have a monthly calendar that I printed off of Microsoft Word and put it up on my fridge so that I can write what we had for dinner. That way when I go to make hubby's lunch the next day or fix lunch for the kids and me, I know what to use up first.

Also having that monthly calendar up there helps me to plan leftover makeovers dinner meals as well.

The other things at my "nerve center" is my master grocery list and my weekly menus sheet.

My kitchen tip for today....Do something to help make sure that *you* know what is in your fridge so you are not wasting food or have many science projects growing!

For other tips go over to Tammy's Recipes!

Monday, February 4, 2008

Menu Plan Monday

**This is just a plan and plans have the ability to change at the cook's discretion! I am so glad that menu plans are JUST PLANS cause last week's plans got changed more than once! We started out last week with me not feeling well so we resorted to take out and quick freezer/convenience meals! That made dinners get rearranged a bit. We still haven't had the Taco Soup, I think I am going to put that in for a lunch somewhere down the line! Dh made it perfectly clear that he doesn't want it for a dinner meal, so I will respect his request. The Garlic Chicken Lasagna(read my whole review at the link) that I made as my new recipe last week failed the family test, so that will not be on the menu again.

So I am moving forward to this week! I am going to stick with old time favorites. Lunches listed are for the kids and I as dh usually takes dinner leftovers each day.

A special thanks to Laura-Organizing Junkie for hosting Menu Plan Monday! Need help with your menus, go check others out at her site!**

Breakfast: eggs, hashbrowns, bacon and cinnamon rolls
Lunch: Tombstone pizzas
Dinner: McDonalds & Wendy's
Snack: no snack due to late dinner!

Breakfast: cereal and leftover cinnamon rolls
Lunch: sandwiches, chips, baby carrots or applesauce
Dinner: ham & cheese pockets(recipe below), seasoned pan fries, and green beans
Snack: snack basket

Breakfast: pancakes(from freezer)
Lunch: chicken nuggets or fish sticks and tater tots
Dinner: oven fried chicken, mashed potatoes, corn and rolls
Snack: cookies & milk

Breakfast: cereal and donuts
Lunch: leftover pizza
Dinner: Chicken Stew and Honey Oatmeal Bread (fixing double of this so I can take some to a church family that just had a new baby)
Snack: snack basket or yogurt

Breakfast: waffles
Lunch: leftovers or sandwiches
Dinner: roast, carrots, and potatoes and biscuits
Snack: trail mix

Breakfast: cereal and toast
Lunch: sandwiches, chips, baby carrots or applesauce
Dinner: Chicken & Beef Tacos with all the fixings(rice, refried beans, lettuce, and cheese)
Snack: ice cream sundaes

Breakfast: "Cook's Choice"
Lunch: ????? it's the weekend anything goes!
Dinner: creamy chicken, rice, and peas (didn't get fixed last week so moved to this week!)
Snack: popcorn

Ham and Cheese Pockets(Quick & Easy!)

ham(either cubed or sliced in strips)
shredded cheddar cheese
Pillsbury Grands Biscuits

Flatten biscuits, put ham and cheese on one side of the biscuit, fold over the other side of the biscuit. Use a fork to press the edges together and poke steam holes in the tops. Cook in 375° oven til golden brown.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Singing Sunday

**The Lord has really been talking to me this week to let go of everything--whether it be the little every day things or big giants!! Give everything to Him---He will lighten the loads of burdens that you have!**

I Surrender All

All to Jesus I surrender;
all to him I freely give;
I will ever love and trust him,
in his presence daily live.
I surrender all, I surrender all,
all to thee, my blessed Savior,
I surrender all.

All to Jesus I surrender;
humbly at his feet I bow,
worldly pleasures all forsaken;
take me, Jesus, take me now.

All to Jesus I surrender;
make me, Savior, wholly thine;
fill me with thy love and power;
truly know that thou art mine.

All to Jesus I surrender;
Lord, I give myself to thee;
fill me with thy love and power;
let thy blessing fall on me.

All to Jesus I surrender;
now I feel the sacred flame.
O the joy of full salvation!
Glory, glory, to his name!