Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Ingles 4 Under $40 - 21 Oct 2012

If you make it to Ingles today, be sure to check out the meat fridge for extra deals. I found some ultra-thin pork tenderloin (2 lbs) for $6.54. That will either go into the freezer with all this week’s extra ground beef ($2.48/lb) or it will make a yummy breakfast soon. Stock up on the boneless/skinless chicken breasts ($1.88/lb) too! 

Ground beef is on sale. That opens up a world of possibilities. Sloppy Joes will cost about $4 including buns (BTW – stock up on Manwich now if you like the stuff while it’s still $1/can). Do you need to finish off last year’s canned goods? Then chili it is. Large cans of Hanover Kidney Beans are on sale for $1.98. Add a chili seasoning packet and a few cans of tomatoes (some brands are still 10/$10) and you have chili for about $7.50, if you purchase everything this week. Pasta is always a good option at our house. What do you like to do with ground beef at a low cost? Let me know!

Pork roast was looking good and I found a Boston Butt that was only $5.59 (1.45 lbs). I still have potatoes coming out of my ears from the last few weeks so I grabbed some organic baby carrots ($1.50lb – same as non-organic) and will do a roast. If you prefer barbeque then go for it, but if you put your Boston Butt in the crockpot and add a packet of mesquite seasoning (+/-$1) then you will have a roast that is AMAZING and your veggies will taste out of this world. See, you can have this meal at $8.09 (if you already have the potatoes) and that is less than taco night! ***You can eat well for less money than it costs to do fast food!***

Church – I did plan ahead when I thought this Wednesday was Halloween. Those extras will mean either White Chili on Saturday or extra for next week.

We’re switching “Taco Tuesday” to “Taco Thursday” this week. It doesn’t have the same ring, but rather than eating ground beef two nights in a row I thought the change might be necessary. I may add variety this week and have enchiladas or burritos – wild, I know. I’ll just use all the goodies I picked up the other week when Old El Paso was running a great deal. Otherwise it breaks down to $2.48/lb for beef, $3.50 for a lb of LL block cheese, and $1.48 for a head of lettuce. Tortillas and taco seasonings will cost you +/- $3 if not already in your pantry. If this is in your stash you are looking good. If you are only a week to week shopper this meal will run you at least $10.

It’s not freezing outside, but fall is certainly in the air. I couldn’t resist the chicken breast deal ($3.82/pkg +/-). Whole, cut up chicken is unadvertised, but cheap too if you prefer that option.  Tonight it’s Chicken and Dumplings. Mary B’s dumplings are on sale for $2.38 (freezer section) and between those and the chicken I’m making this meal for $6.30. (If you don’t have a recipe you can use the one on the back of the dumpling package.) You can save a few pennies if you go the whop biscuit route and cut those into quarters, but I hear Mary B makes a mean dumpling and I am excited to give it a shot.

The Hatchett family will be eating well the next few weeks from all the inexpensive meats (both advertised and not) I found while shopping. Next Thursday is going be Croissant Chicken – I’ll post the recipe later. It’s a super-yummy dish so grab an extra roll of Pillsbury Crescent Rolls (3/$6) to go with an extra packet of chicken breasts and keep them until then.


Monday, October 15, 2012

Ingles 4 Under $40

Chicken legs are a favorite around here and they are super easy and super cheap. At 98c/lb you'll be out less than $3 for a family sized package. Add onions (on hand?) and carrots (less than $1 if you peel your own). Salt and pepper and put into a dutch oven. Toss in the chopped veggies and for under $5 you have a fulfilling dinner for the crew.

Since last week was tacos it's pasta tonight. Lensi Organic pasta is on sale ($2 ea), but so it the refrigerated Buitoni. This is a non-advertised deal and depending on which pasta you choose it's 2/$6 or 2/$7. I'm giving the whole wheat tortellini a try. There are plenty of great deals on pasta sauces, but I like Classico (2/$4). So this meal is a whopping $5. For a side I added some salad and bread we had leftover from last week so we made out cheap there too!

I can only hope it's chicken nugget night at church!?!?

Smithfield bacon is $3.98 a lb this week, but choosing the Laura Lynn brand will get you by even cheaper for tonight's BLTs. Tomatoes are $1.48lb and they still look good. (Note that I won't post any fresh tomato recipes from here on until next spring and the anemic winter tomatoes are gone with the snow.) My bread trick is to buy whatever is on sale for $2 or less. Usually you can find something on the bread rack at this price and generally bread is bread. I forgot to price fresh lettuce (boo) and so we'll say it's $2 (though I know it's less). So this meal is about $8 total, but totally worth it as a last hoorah before winter.

The Preacher asked for pintos so it's pintos and cornbread Friday night. A pound of pintos is $1.38 for Laura Lynn (what I always buy). My MaMac likes to add Goya Jamon ($1.26) seasoning to hers and I prefer the Sazon Goya con azafran ($1.43). Yes, it's made for rice (think yellow Spanish rice), but it does amazing things to pintos. Soak them on Thursday night and put them on to boil at 3pm on Friday. Put in two packets of Sazon per pound of beans and then simmer until 6pm. Add a pone of cornbread and you're in the money. At less than $2.00 for the entire meal (provided you're not out of buttermilk and cornbread) you come up great.

Barring an empty pantry you come out like a bandit this week feeding everyone in the house for under $20!!! Though I wasn't totally impressed with the choices in the flyer, Ingles came through and this may be the best I've done so far. Let me know what you think.


Sunday, October 14, 2012

Ingles 4 Under $40 - 14 Oct 2012

If you are looking for junkfood this is a great week to be an Ingles' shopper. If it's more substantial meals you're interested in then we are delving deep into what's been on sale over the last several weeks because this weeks choices are a bit slim . . .

I'm thinking roasted chicken legs are in order for Monday. They're yummy and easy and you can add any number of roasted veggies to your pot. And a one-pot meal is a pleasure to behold!

It will be spaghetti, or some variety of pasta, at the Hatchett house thig week. We're still in the throes of ball season and it's a quick, filling meal.

Y'all know the drill - it's church for us. Do you cook on Wednesdays?

Pintos and cornbread! Apparently it's been a while since I fixed this because The Preacher was asking for them. Sounds good to me and maybe the weather will cool down just a bit more and give us a chilly night needing pintos to warm it up.

In one last nod to summer, we're going to have BLT's here on Friday. Tomatoes are on sale and I figured it was good time to enjoy these before you can only find wintery, anemic tomatoes on the shelves.

Price list coming tomorrow and I'm thinking we should be well within our $40 budget. Let me know if you see anything in the sale flyer I missed. What would you chose this week?


Thursday, October 11, 2012

If God is God . . .

This morning I read a new blog written by a dear friend from college. I was excited to see that she is now blogging because she is rather a gypsy and difficult to track. In fact, I don’t know that I’ve seen her since leaving Athens nearly twelve years ago. Interestingly, she is also using blogging to help develop discipline in her life. As you well know I began this blog with the same goal and I am thrilled to see how she will use this challenge. I am greatly encouraged that I am not the only female nearing her mid-thirties who struggles with discipline!

As she progressed through her post I was disheartened to see revealed her belief that the lives of humanity would be more full and fulfilling if we opened ourselves to “The Voice.” My friend goes on to describe this voice as an inner guide that will lead to happiness and prosperity if only we would take the time to listen. Though I want to chalk this up to Jiminy Cricket singing, “Always let your conscience be your guide,” she takes the definition of this voice one step further and permits this voice any number of names including, but not limited to: inner wisdom or connection to the life force, intuition, the divine, the great spirit, the universal intelligence, God.

Now guys, I love this sweet friend and I am certainly not knocking her attempt at a better life. I think there are entirely too many of us, myself included, who live life too safely and miss out on the adventure and abundance that is freely offered to us. I also know many people who claim this Deepak Chopra-style of religion and are completely satisfied to be guided by their inner goodness to a life in which they claim fulfillment. This voice is she is seeking to find can be one or more of the many things she named or something completely different and lacking a name, but it cannot be any of those things and also be God.

You see, by definition if there is a GOD then there is no other god. If there is an absolutely powerful creator-being in the universe he cannot and would not have created something as powerful as himself. A belief in a definite God does not allow for a belief in lesser beings or pseudo-gods that can also be omnipotent, omniscient guides. Sure, you are free (especially here in the USA) to believe what you want to and define God by whatever definition you so choose. But if you are honest and truthful at some point you must come to the question – If there is a God, a true GOD, how does he define himself?

And dear friends, this is nearly the entire reason, concise and definite, I believe in One True God and I believe that God is indeed the God of the Bible. The God of scripture has defined himself clearly and declared himself knowable to a dark and wicked humanity (in whom he has stated there is nothing good – certainly not anything worth seeking to follow). There is no other god in the universe claiming absolute truth and, if God is God, shouldn’t he have a corner on that market? I will be the first to admit that our Americanized, antiseptic Christianity has done the One True God few favors in helping the world understand who he is. The last hundred years have found churches to be social halls filled with brain-dead drones rather than gatherings of believers excited and changed by the understanding of what God has revealed about himself. But, because he is God, he has chosen to awaken an entire generation to the understanding that we don’t have to guess and decide for ourselves who God is; he has clearly revealed himself in scripture. We just need to take the time to investigate what he has revealed and not wallow in what we think we know or someone in a pulpit has told us we should believe.

Tonight I won’t go in to the veracity of the scriptures and how they have proven themselves truthful and trustworthy throughout history. I just wanted to take a moment to ask you to think about how you are defining God and what you are calling a god. Are you wasting your life worshiping an idol of your own imagination you call God; who is comfortable and loving, but lacking in every other attribute the Bible claims of the One True God? If you are searching for a god who can indeed make your life fulfilled and fulfilling look closely at what you give credence and what the gods you choose to follow are claiming. If your findings point toward anything other than a God who has defined himself in absolute truth, absolute power and absolute authority I would sincerely question any claim to god-ness made.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Two Fabulous Soup Recipes

Since I have still not been to Ingles this week I am going to post my two soup recipes I told you about. They are equally amazing. Grandmother’s Chicken Noodle (which did, indeed, come from my very own grandmother) is the simpler of the two, but the Leek and Potato (from a Pampered Chef newsletter) is well worth any effort required. Provided your family isn’t Duggar-sized, both of these recipes make enough soup for your crew and maybe even another. There will certainly be enough left for lunch for a day or two. Enjoy!


Grandmother’s Chicken Noodle Soup
Boil a package of split breasts or a whole cut up chicken for broth.
Season broth to taste with thyme, salt, pepper, etc.
When done, remove chicken from broth and pick meat from bones.
Strain broth if desires and place chicken back into broth.
Pour one large (26oz) can Cream of Chicken soup into broth/chicken.
Cook one package of egg noodles (I like the thin ones) per package directions and add to soup.
Voila! Serve warm immediately or reheat the next day (which I like even better). You may need to add a bit of water or more broth if you reheat this soup as it will thicken when refrigerated overnight.

Leek and Potato Soup
2 Large Leeks white and light green parts only
-cut lengthwise in half and thinly slice crosswise. Swish in cold water to remove dirt.
1T butter
1 med onion – finely chopped
3 cloves garlic – pressed
1.5 t smoked Paprika
2 lbs Yukon Gold potatoes – peeled & diced
4 c chicken broth
1 can Great Northern Beans – drained & rinsed
1.5 c milk
3 oz extra sharp cheddar cheese – shredded
0.5 t salt
0.5 t pepper
6 T sour cream

Melt butter in stock pot over med heat. Add leeks, onion, garlic and paprika. Cook until veggies are soft. Add potatoes and cook about 2 min stirring constantly. Add stock and cook about 12-15 min until tender. Add beans and cook until warm. Ladle soup into blender and blend until smooth. Return soup to pot and add milk. Stir and cook until simmering. Stir in cheese and salt and pepper. Cook until cheese has melted. Serve. 

WARNING: You may not want to serve this soup while your mama is around. You may feel she needs to slapped. (Just sayin'.)

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

You Win Some, You Lose Some

Firstly, I just have to apologize for the monstrous Shepherd’s Pie recipe I linked to last week. I had my doubts when looking at it and should have gone with my gut. Absolutely disgusting and zero flavor. Oddly enough my Beloved seemed to like it . . . but then again he rarely says anything bad about anything I make an effort to fix (except pink beef stroganoff – don’t ask). So, I will try to stick with recipes that I know work and aren’t offensive to taste buds.  :o/

Secondly, please bear with me as I have not posted this week’s 4 Under $40. It’s in progress, but there was a death in our church family and I had to make a quick trip out of town instead of my trip to Ingles. Tonight is either taco night or spaghetti night depending on your family preference so knock yourself out and I’ll try to have the numbers up this evening. An overview for the rest of the week is below.

Also, if you read my blogs I would love to see your name under “Followers.” Now that’s not follower in a creepy David Koresh kind of way, just looking to see if anyone out there in cyber-world is marginally interested in anything I’m doing here. I love getting emails from some of you who have sent me quick and easy weeknight recipes. I cannot wait for a chance to give them a shot.

Have a wonderful day!


Have a Taco Tuesday or Spaghetti night tonight. Throw in lettuce and tomatoes and you have a great dinner.
Church! (I’m not sure I’ve harped enough on how wonderful it is to take my kiddos to church on Wednesday nights and let someone else worry about their dinner!)
Pot Roast is a Sunday favorite around here, but since it does so well in the CrockPot I am not afraid to have it during the week as well.
Soup Night! I’ll post recipes for both Homemade Chicken Noodle and Leek and Potato soups. They are amazing. The chicken noodle will be a little cheaper and easier, but the Leek and Potato is worth every ounce of effort necessary. You’ll never go back to a loaded potato soup again!