Sunday, September 30, 2012

30 Sept 2012 Recipes

This week I'm getting creative with Ingles' sales - and we are eating like kings! Tonight I'm linking 3 of the recipes I'll be using, but I'll post the grocery list and a super-fab salmon recipe tomorrow. All of these links come from the "Tasty Kitchen" site - my FAVORITE place to find good, sensible recipes. Enjoy!

Monday: Shepherd's Pie

Tuesday: These Chicken Legs or These Chicken Legs

Wednesday: Church

Thursday: Salmon

Friday: Baby Back Ribs


*Yes, I fully realize that the "These" and "These" of Tuesday's chicken legs are different sizes, but they don't want to fix and so you get two different theses tonight.  (And we will not discuss whether or not "theses" is a word.) Thank you. :o) 

Monday, September 24, 2012

4 Under $40 September 23, 2012

If you remember from last week's post my meal plans are based on what the Ingles supermarkets have listed in their sale paper. I am an Ingles' shopper out of convenience. Other than the Walmart, a Piggly Wiggly (lacking in produce) and a discount grocery our rural community is not a shopping mecca for foodies. Thus, out of necessity, Ingles is our grocery of choice. So, here's my plan for the week of September 23, 2012. Their prices are not necessarily always lower than a store like Walmart, but if you watch the sale papers you can do pretty well sans coupons.


Chicken Pasta Salad

If you picked up extra pasta last week, you are going to do even better, but don't despair because Barilla pasta is still on sale at 4/$5. I prefer the tri-color rotini for this dish, but any pasta will do, just cook according to package directions, drain and put into large bowl. Cook your boneless, skinless chicken breast ($1.98 lb) as preferred and chop into bite sized pieces and add it to the bowl. (If you buy extra, boil it, chop it and freeze a couple of breasts and broth for next week you have the start of chicken noodle soup.) Grab a bag of Fresh Express (2/$4) baby spinach and add it to the pasta. Now you can have fun and add whatever you desire. If you like it more savory add Italian dressing (Kraft 8 oz dressings $1.97 ea), black olives and artichoke hearts. Prefer a sweeter salad? Try chopped apples ($2.98/3 lb), grapes ($2.48 lb), dried cranberries and a sweeter dressing. Depending on what you already have on-hand you are looking at a family meal for under $6.



Taco Soup

Check out yesterday's post for this easy, delicious Taco Soup recipe. If you don't keep many canned goods around tonight's meal could be the most expensive of the week. But, if you use what you have then you could come away with a meal for merely pennies. The total here is coming from purchasing everything at the store; ground beef and all canned goods. Notice on the grocery list that I just added the Luck's Chili Beans that were on sale and the LL Red Kidney Beans. Either will work and chose the one you'd rather have. I'll also just use a can of RoTel or another can of tomatoes rather than tomato sauce. Getting creative is the BEST part about soup making! Instead of chips (which are becoming outrageously expensive) think about using the tortillas that you got on sale last week or pick some up this week (still on sale) and don't miss the Old El Paso bonus. The same goes for the canned DelMonte veggies. Total if you purchase everything new this week $15.



Dinner at church!



Cube Steak (Country Fried Steak)

Cube steak (country fried steak) is the biggie this week. (Recipe here.) Trust me; you are going to want to try this at least once. It is totally worth the effort, I give you my word! Cube steak ($2.98 lb) and new (red) potatoes ($1.98/5 lbs) are the heart of this meal. Even better - you could use some of the 10 lbs worth of potatoes you bought last week and do them mashed. You can go for a side salad and use the remaining lettuce (Fresh Express 2/$4) or try a new veggie. I love asparagus ($2.98 lb) and it happens to be on sale this week too. I usually give it a quick steam in a sauce pan and salt it when finished, but they're nice roasted in the oven too. Bakery French bread is BOGO ($1.88/2) or, if you prefer, Pilsbury Crescent rolls (2/$5). Meal total here is anywhere from $8 - $12.



Pintos and Cornbread

Pintos and cornbread is probably the cheapest, most filling dinner we eat around here. This week you can get dried beans for $1 lb (Note: the sale is on 2 lb bags). I recommend you stock-up. Does anyone need a recipe for pintos? Let me know and I'll post that as well. If you have to buy cornmeal ($2.88/5 lb) then you're per-meal price will rise above $1, but if not your entire family will eat for $1 today! (Also, if you season your beans with side meat or bacon your price will go up. There are ways to get great flavor without the pork!)



If you purchase every single ingredient listed for this week's meals, then your total is going to be nearly $70. However, you will get some pantry stockers and freezer meat for this price. I chose these meals because I have many of these items already in my pantry (some from last week's sale) that I won't have to purchase again. In fact, I'm looking at these meals costing me under $20! Figure out how exactly this works for you and let me know.




Grocery List





Boneless/Skinless Breast


2-3 lb


Ground Beef


3 lb


Cube Steak


2 lb




Gala Apples (bag)

$2.98/3 lb

3 lb






Fresh Express Bag Salad

$2 ea



Red Potatoes

$1.98/5 lb

5 lb




1 lb


Bakery French Bread






Barilla Pasta


1 or 2


White Lily Buttermilk Cornmeal

$2.88/5 lb



Taco Seasoning




LL Pinto Beans

$1/lb (2lb bags)



LL Cream of . . . Soup


1 or 2


Ranch Drsg Packet




Kraft 8oz Salad Drsg

$1.97 ea

1 or 2


DelMonte Can Veggies

$0.80 WYB 10



Luck's Beans (Chili Beans)

$0.60 ea



LL Kidney Beans




LL Evaporated Milk (sm)


1 or 2






Sunday, September 23, 2012

Recipes for this Week's Meal Plan

As I am preparing my 4 Under $40 meal plan for this week I wanted to send out a head’s up. Here are a couple of recipes that you are going to need before I post the grocery list. The Taco Soup recipe came from my sweet cousin, Marcy. It’s one you can probably find most anywhere and I love to give it some variety with what I have in my pantry (and what’s on sale this week). The other is hands down the BEST Cubed Steak recipe ever. Now, this one won’t be done in 30min, but the slow cook time makes it absolutely worth the trouble. If you feed a family of meat-lovers then this recipe should be a go-to in your repertoire.

1.5 lb ground beef
1 med onion – chopped
15 oz can tomato sauce
28 oz can diced tomatoes
(2) 15 oz cans kidney beans – drained and rinsed
(2) 15 oz cans yellow corn – keep juice
1 pkg taco seasoning
1 pkg ranch dressing seasoning
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp chili powder

Brown ground beef and onions. Drain. Return to pot and add all other ingredients. Bring to a boil then simmer for 1h. (Mine usually doesn’t make it an hour once it’s warm through!)

CUBE STEAK/Country Fried Steak
Let me give props to former Carrollton Mayor, Gerald Pilgrim, for a country fried steak recipe so good it gets “Slap Yo’ Mama” status.  If you are local and don’t have one of the Recipe Bouquet cookbooks created by the Tallapoosa Garden Club in the 90’s (I think), then you must find a copy. It is a fabulous cookbook and one of the most often used at the Hatchett house. This particular recipe from Mr. Pilgrim can be found on pp. 87-88.
1.5 lbs cube steak
1 can mushroom soup
3 evaporated milk cans water
2 Tbsp flour
1 Tbsp Carnation milk (evaporated milk)
3 Tbsp Crisco
Salt & pepper

*Note: I substitute most of the water for the rest of the small can of evaporated milk that I use as it is unlikely I’ll need a small can minus 1T of evaporated milk for anything else. And I also find that 3 cans of water make too much gravy to fit into the cooking dish I use.
Preheat oven to 300°F. Salt and pepper steak generously and then batter in flour. Heat Crisco to high in skillet and brown steak quickly. Place steak in an oven safe, covered dish. Put 2 Tbsp flour in grease and brown. Add soup to mixture and evaporated milk and more water (as desires). Pour gravy mixture over steak and bake at 300° for 1 hour. Decrease heat to warm (175 - 200°) and continue baking for 2 hours. This will be the most tender cube steak you will EVER eat and it also works great on cube vineson - you won't even know it's not beef!


Monday, September 17, 2012

This week at Ingles . . .

Dinner time is a stressor for me. I find that as 4:30 rolls around around every day, I am in a panic, searching my kitchen for something "appropriate" to feed my family. If I am not prepared then I succumb to the delicacies of corn dogs and peanut butter sandwiches. In my effort to become more disciplined I am undertaking renovations of family dinner time. Now, I used to be a couponer, but since my coupon buddy went back to work full-time over a year ago, couponing has lost it's joy and become a burden for me. However, I am still a money-saving-mama and find that if I spend some quality time on Sunday night with the Ingles' sale paper I am in a great position to save money AND provide my family a much more healthy dinner than would otherwise be the case.

So, here's the Hatchett Family Meal Plan for this week:

Monday - Spaghetti 
You know how to do this. Shake it up by using pasta in a fun or different shape.
Barilla pasta = 4/$5
Classico Sauce = 2/$4
Fresh Express Salad = 2/$4
-without bread your total meal for a family of 4 or 5 is $5.25. That's barely a dollar per person!

Tuesday - Mexican Chicken 
Pop your chicken breasts in the your crock, cover them with the Rotel and cook until done. Just make sure you carefully remove the chicken when complete to make sure there are no small bones that come dislodged and remain in your chicken.
Bone-in-Breast = $0.98/lb or about $2.94 for 3 lbs.
Rotel Tomatoes = 10/$10
Zatarain's Rice (Spanish) = 10/$10
-before adding in tortillas this meal comes to $4.94!

Wednesday - 
Thank Goodness for Wednesday night meals at church. This is a blessing to Mom's everywhere. If your kiddos are not involved in a Wednesday night children's program then the mere fact that most serve dinner is reason enough to get them there!! One day I will write "An Ode to the Wednesday Night Meal." Thank you.

Thursday - Pork Chops
This one is the budget buster for the week, but in my house Thursday is usually the night I can go all-out in the kitchen. I try to do my Beloved a big favor and fix him something really nice. I'll most likely do this one in the crock as well. Dust chops with a mesquite seasoning and put into the crock. Add potatoes and onions and cook until done. Fresh veggies on the side and VOILA!
Chops = $2.98/lb or $8.94 for 3 lbs.
McCormick Seasoning Packets = 10/$10
Potatoes = 10 lbs for $2.98 is about $0.90 for this meal
Onions = $0.78 per lb and about $1.56 for this meal
Bird's Eye Steam Fresh Veggie = 5/$10
Total for this meal is $14.40. A bit more than I like to spend for the other meals during the week, but still a good sight less than what we'd get a heart-attack in a bag for elsewhere. And even though you can steam these veggies in the bag, I generally opt for a glass bowl in the microwave or a quick spin on the stove-top. Fewer creepy plastic parts sealed into my otherwise healthy veggies that way.

Friday - Football Night Manwich
My crew likes to go to the local high school football games (and pray) so I try to have something quick and easy to clean. Thankfully, my Beloved likes Manwich so this is a super easy choice for us.
Manwich = 10/$10
LL Pretzles = 10/$10
Grapes = $1.68/lb so about $3.36
Buns and ground beef were not listed in the paper this week so I'll have to price them in a bit, but thus far you're looking at $5.36. Choose a fruit other than grapes and you may be looking at less. Either way, this price still won't be near Thursday night's total.

If you go into Ingles with only this plan today, you'll spend less than $40 for 4 nights of food for your family. Not too shabby on the pocket book and you aren't slacking in the substance of meals here either. 

I am looking at the Progresso 10/$10 soups and deli turkey on sale for $4.98/lb as likely lunch candidates this week along with left overs. With an extra bag of salad you can turn Tuesday's chicken into a spicy lunch salad for Wednesday. There are also good deals on cheese sticks and apples (both organic and non) to keep on hand for snack time.

There are some GREAT 10/$10 deals at Ingles this week so also look at stocking up while there. I like to keep a stash of the McCormick seasoning packets for chili and pot roast and whatever else I see they are offering. (I love little helps that make my job easy.) My baseball players are always in need of sunflower seeds and at 10/$10 I'll be stocking up on those this week too. It's a good time to add extra spaghetti fixings to the pantry stash for a quick meal in another week or so. And I always look for the family deals in the meat department. It's often much cheaper to buy several pounds of ground beef or a big package of chicken legs (organic is on sale too and I will be buying to freeze until next week) than smaller servings. Better to divide and freeze than spend your extra money on something as unexciting as dead animals. ;o)

Have a Wonderful Week!
*Follow the Ingles link to their weekly sale page and make/print your list from there.

UPDATE: Including the $11 worth of ground beef, my meal total this week was $40.95 (including tax - even though I'm still not sure how grocery tax works). That just leaves one problem - the other $100 I spent NOT on meals for this week! How on earth did that happen?!?! LOL The story of my life.