Saturday, January 31, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

I've decided to add ratings (1-5 diamonds ) by past weeks meal plan recipes (or recipes I've cooked before), to let you know what I thought of them. So watch for that in the coming weeks.


Crockpot pork burritos (link)
3 lb pork sirloin roast
2 tsp southwest seasoning (I used THIS recipe, halved)

3 cups prepared chunky salsa, divided
8-10 flour or corn tortillas
1 cup grated cheddar or colby-jack cheese
1 Tbsp fresh cilantro leaves (snipped or chopped)

Rub southwest seasoning on both sides of pork and place in slow cooker. Pour 2 cups salsa over pork, cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours. Using two forks, shred pork. Meanwhile, wrap tortillas in aluminum foil and heat in a 350-degree oven for 20 minutes or until heated through. Spoon pork mixture onto center of each tortilla and top with additional salsa, cheese and cilantro. Broil 1 minute or until cheese is bubbly. Roll up like a burrito to eat. Serve with beans and rice. We're going to eat this with leftover Z'tejas Cornbread

) that I made yesterday. So yummy!


BBQ Chicken Pizza (link)

4-6 servings

2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 lb chicken tenders
2/3 cup BBQ sauce (Bullseye Original recommended)
flour, for dusting surface
1 package Pillsbury Classic pizza dough
3/4 cup shredded Gouda
1 cup shredded Mozzarella
3/4 cup shredded Parmesan
1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced
3 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro

Preheat oven to 400-degrees. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and saute chicken tenders until golden brown, about 12 minutes. Remove from heat. When chicken is cooled, dice to yield a little over 1 cup. In a small bowl, toss chicken with 2 Tbsp BBQ sauce. Set aside. On a floured surface, roll out dough and place on greased sheet pan. Shape to fill the sheet pan, about a 15 by 10-inch rectangle. Spread remaining BBQ sauce evenly over pizza dough. Sprinkle Gouda, Mozzarella, Parmesan, onions, and chicken over top. Bake for 20 minutes or until cheese bubbles. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro and cut into pieces.


Italian Layered Meat-and-Potato Loaf (link)
1 lb potatoes, peeled and diced
2 Tbsp milk
salt and pepper, to taste
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 onion, peeled and chopped
1 red chili pepper chopped
1 clove garlic, peeled and chopped
1 1/2 lbs minced beef or ground pork or ground veal (I'm going to use beef)
3/4 cup white breadcrumbs
1/4 cup fresh basil, roughly chopped
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, grated
6-8 spinach leaves, washed, dried, stems and tough bits removed
2 Tbsp honey

Preheat oven to 200-degrees. Boil potatoes till tender and drain. Add milk and salt and pepper to taste; potatoes should still be pretty dry, but hold together enough to work with in a later step. While potatoes are boiling, add oil to frying pan and saute onion, pepper, and garlic till tender, but not brown (about 3-5 minutes). Remove from heat and let cool. In a large bowl, combine the onion mix, minced meat, breadcrumbs, basil and egg. Add salt and pepper to taste and mix well with your hands. Place half of the meat mixture in a baking dish, shaping it into a rather wide loaf with a flattened top. Take half of the mashed potatoes, and make a level layer of them above the meat base. Cover the potato layer with the spinach leaves. Cover the spinach with the mozzarella, again making a level layer. Cover this with remaining potatoes and level. Finish off with the remaining meat, molding and shaping it to not only cover the top , but down the sides as needed to keep the stacks together. Bake for 20 minutes, glaze the top with honey, and continue baking for 20 to 25 more minutes. Let sit for 5 minutes before slicing.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Monday Drugstore Deals

I hit up Rite Aid quite a few times this week on my way to/from work. Here's how I fared...

4 Listerine @ $4.99 each
1 Veet @ $3.99
1 Fructis @ $2.99
-$5/25 Rite Aid Q
-$2 Listerine in-ad Rite Aid Q x 4
-$2 Listerine MFQ x 2
-$2 Veet MFQ
-$1 Fructis MFQ (SS 10/5, RP 11/9, RP 1/4)
= $6.94 + tax + $15.99 back in rebates (saved $27.40)

I also bought three Bayer glucose meters, all of which will be donated. They were free after coupon this week (paid $1.03 tax each) and I'll get back a $10 Rite Aid gift card this month just for purchasing them. That's a profit of ~$7.00.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Beginner's Coupon Class!

By popular request,
I will be teaching a coupon class next
Thursday, February 5th, at 7:00 PM
at my cute friend Rachel's house
in Cottonwood Heights!

This will be a chance for anyone who uses Slavetosave (or who has been wanting to use it) to get the help they need to start! If you'd like to learn how to shop like I do, this is the place to be. Get all of your questions answered -- no judgements, no stupid questions -- you can ask me anything you'd like. We will be discussing:

-Where/how to get your coupons
-How to organize them
-Coupon basics
-Drugstore rebates
-Deal-finding in general!

Bring your friends and your questions! It will cost $5 at the door, and we'll have a few prize drawings and some refreshments. To RSVP, email me at slavetosave at gmail dot com and I'll send you Rachel's address.

Hope to see you there!

Monday, January 26, 2009

I'd like to have a girl someday... I can put her in a pink tutu, like this.

Do I have the world's cutest niece or what?

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Menu Plan Monday


Steak Fajitas
I'm going to saute an onion, red peppers, and the steak fajita strips (from my food co-op share). Then we'll top with cheese, salsa and sour cream and serve with tortillas.


Toasted Pears with Blue Cheese (from Barefoot Contessa: Back To Basics)
3 ripe but firm Anjou pears
fresh squeezed lemon juice (3 lemons)
3 ounces coarsely crumbled sharp blue cheese
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup walnut halves, toasted and chopped
1/4 cup apple cider
3 Tbsp port
1/2 cup lightly brown sugar, lightly packed
1/4 cup good olive oil
6 ounces baby arugula
kosher salt

Preheat the oven to 375. Slice the peeled pears lengthwise into halves. Remove the core and seeds with a melon baller, leaving a round well for the filling. Trim a small slice away from the rounded sides of the pear so they will sit flat in the baking dish without wobbling. Toss pears with lemon juice to prevent browning and arrange in a baking dish large enough to fit them snugly. Gently toss crumbled blue cheese, cranberries, and walnuts together in a small bowl and divide mixture among pears, mounding it on top. Then combine the apple cider, port and brown sugar, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Pour the mixture over and around pears. Bake the pears, basting occasionally with the cider mixture, for 30 minutes until tender. Set aside until warm or at room temperature. Just before serving, whisk together the olive oil, 1/4 cup lemon juice, and 1/4 cup of the basting liquid in a large bowl. Add arugula and toss. Divide arugula among plates, top with a pear, drizzle some of the basting liquid over the top and sprinkle with salt. Serve.

Chris will be at school on Wednesday, so....I think I might just eat pears for dinner with nothing else. Hey, it's better than eating the whole twinkie box for dinner, right?


Fried Tomatoes
Butter-flavored vegetable cooking spray
4 medium green, or red, tomatoes, sliced 1/4-inch thick
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
Salt and pepper, to taste

Spray large skillet with cooking spray; heat over medium heat until hot. Coat tomato slices lightly with flour; cook over medium heat until browned, two to three minutes on each side. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Recipe makes four servings.

I think we'll grill up some Omaha steaks from the freezer and do these fried tomatoes with salad.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Utah Food Co-Oop

One commonly-used method for saving money on groceries is joining a local food co-op. We've only got one in Salt Lake (some places have many!) - The Community Food Co-Op of Utah. I decided to give it a try this month. Co-ops have a rotating menu with different food packages or shares that you can purchase each month. You pay the co-op for your desired share and then pick up your food at your neighborhood distribution center on the day of the co-op. So simple!

This month's standard share ($23) included:

  • 1lb. Top Sirloin Fajita Strips
  • 2 lb. Package of Chicken Drumsticks
  • 2 lb. Sirloin Pork Roast
  • 1 lb. Lean Ground Beef
  • 1 lb. Rice
  • 1 loaf Artisan Wheat Bread
  • 5 Fuji Apples
  • 5 Pears
  • 5 Oranges
  • 1 Romaine Lettuce
  • 3 Red Bell Peppers
  • 5 Tomatoes
  • 2 Avocados
  • 1 2lb. Bag of Carrots
What a deal! The retail value was $46 + tax for the standard share. Now I'm off to work on my menu plan using some of these items!

How does the co-op provide food at such low prices?
By ordering in quantity and utilizing local farmers/growers.

Who can join?
Anyone! If you eat, you qualify.

Is the food good quality?
The food comes from the same wholesalers that supply the local grocery stores, so you can expect the same quality. No seconds or bruised items here. It's all fresh, excellent food.

How can I find a local food co-op near me?

How do I find recipes to cook with the ingredients I've got?

Use! Type in an ingredient and it will give you recipes that use it!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Yesterday's Shopping Deals

10 Southbeach Diet bars $2.33 each
3 Kotex pantiliners $2.79 each
-$2 Southbeach MFQ x 10
-$1 Kotex MFQ x 3
-$2 Kotex TQ x 3
= $2.67 + tax (Saved 32.96!)

3 Suave Lotion $1.00 each
1 Milk $2.00
3 Kraft Mayo $2.99 each
6 Green Giant Steamers $1.50 each
1 Philadelphia Cream Cheese $1.50 each
1 Birdseye Veggies $1.99
2 Crab Classic $2.99 each
-$5 Mega Event savings
-$1.00 Suave MFQ x 3
-$0.75 Mayo MFQ x 3
-$0.50 Green Giant MFQ x 6
-$2.00 Birdseye Veggie MFQ
-$1.00 Crab Classic MFQ x 2
= $15.19 + tax (Saved $31.04!)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Spencers in the Chrony

Remember THIS post? Well the Chrony decided to run an article about how Chris (and I) won the food drive contest. We're famous...almost.

We didn't end up going to the bowl game because we refused to pay $900 roundtrip airfare per person. It was a bummer, but they gave us a $300 scholarship towards this semester's tuition for Chris instead. I'd say a $15 investment with a $300 return is a pretty good deal! :)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Monday Drugstore Deals

I went to Rite Aid Monday morning but skipped out on Walgreens because I didn't need anything there. Some people have been asking me for a little more detail on how my drugstore runs work, so here's what I got....with a little more detail.

(Don't mind the crockpot and rice cooker on the counter from Monday's dinner.)

$19.99 Onetouch Ultra Mini Glucose Monitor (to be donated)
$2.00 GE lightbulbs
$2.49 Skintimate shave gel
$2.49 Skintimate shave gel
$0.99 Softsoap
$0.99 Softsoap
= $28.95

Coupons Used
$5 off $25 Rite Aid purchase coupon
$19.99 Onetouch Ultra Mini Glucose coupon (V 1/4/09)
$1.50 in-ad skintimate Rite Aid Coupon
$1.50 in-ad skintimate Rite Aid Coupon
$0.35 softsoap coupon (SS 1/4/09)
$0.35 softsoap coupon (SS 1/4/09)
= $1.98 + tax

And I'll get back a $2 SCR for the lightbulbs. Savings this trip: $34.98.

Total spent this month: $110.89
Total saved this month: $1065.88

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Menu Plan Monday


Crockpot Teriyaki Chicken
(adapted from Fix, Freeze & Feast)
8 chicken breast halves
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1 1/2 tsp vegetable oil
1 1/2 tsp minced garlic (4 cloves)

Combine soy sauce, brown sugar, vinegar and oil in a small bowl, stirring until dissolved. Line crockpot with chicken and pour marinade evenly over the top. Cook on low for 6 hours. Serve over rice.


Beef Stew (my Mom's recipe -- as good as they come!)
2 lbs Rump roast (or top round)
sliced onion
(any other favorite veggies you're craving)
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 Tbsp (heaping) beef gravy powder( or lipton onion soup mix)
1 bay leaf
salt & pepper to taste

Cut meat into 1 1/2 inch chunks. Put in a ziploc bag with a few tablespoons of flour, some salt and pepper, and shake until coated. Then brown beef in a hot skillet with olive oil. Add meat and veggies to roaster or crockpot, and stir in cream of mushroom soup, gravy powder, bay leaf and salt & pepper. (It will look like there is not enough liquid but don't add more! The veggies and meat will cook down and add juices.) Cook in oven at 300º for 5 hours or in a crockpot on low for 5-6 hours. Serves 6-8.

I'm going to serve this with salad, rolls, and homemade twinkies for dessert (I'm taking dinner into a friend who had a baby last week).


Crab Rangoon (link)
2 packages crab classic
2 packages cream cheese 8 oz brick
2 cloves minced garlic
1 package wonton skins
salt and pepper to taste

Put imitation crab in a food processor and process until you have small pieces. Dump into a bowl and mix other ingredients except wonton skins. Line a cookie sheet with the wonton wrappers. Place 1 tsp mixture in the center of the wonton wrappers. Wet all edges with water and fold end over into a triangle. Next, tuck all corners under so you have a little pillow. Do this with all remaining wrappers. Line them on a cookie sheet without touching each other. Brush tops with melted butter. Bake at 400º for 12-14 minutes until golden brown. If you have left over mix, spread on halved english muffins and broil till tops are brown...yummy!

I'm going to serve this with leftover rice from Monday and salad.