Friday, December 30, 2011

Baked Chicken Fajitas

So who would have know that you can easily bake chicken fajitas?  Sounds so simple...yet I never even thought of it.  I was browsing Pinterest when I came across this recipe and tweaked it to my family's liking.  Check out Eatin' on the Cheap for the original recipe if you would like to see a variation. 
Baked Chicken Fajitas
Baked Chicken Fajitas

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into thin strips
2 cans diced tomatoes w/ green chilies (ie. Rotel)
1 large sweet onion, sliced thin (I really like onions!)
1 large bell pepper, seeded and sliced thin
2 TBS vegetable oil
2 tsp chili powder
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp dried oregano
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and grease a glass 13x9 baking dish
  2. Place drained tomatoes, onions, peppers, and chicken in pan and mix
  3. In a small dish mix spices and oil
  4. Drizzle over chicken mixture and toss to coat
  5. Bake uncovered for 25 minutes or until chicken is done and veggies are tender
  6. Serve in warmed tortillas with cheese, sour cream, pico de gallo, guacamole, or whatever other toppings your family likes.
This recipe was simple and very good.  We served ours with just cheese and they really didn't need anything else.  I would have spiced it up a bit, but this was perfect for my non spice loving family.  Even the picky toddler ate this...YAY!  This was a meal in itself for us, but some cilantro lime rice or black beans would compliment this well.  Enjoy!

Two weeks of meals and groceries!


Alright guys if you remember my goal this year to keep spending within $75/week.  I know the year isn't quite over, but this is for my menus starting 1/1/12.  I will list all my items and the meals I plan to make.  The shopping trips today are for the next two weeks.  I have lots of great food and can't wait to start sharing the recipes!

I first went to Hy-Vee to pick up a few items, but the majority of my shopping was at Price Chopper.  I went to Aldi for milk and Hen House for lemons and limes.  The milk cost $4.20 at Aldi for 2 gallons and tax.  The lemons (6 @ 25 cents) and limes (3 @ 15 cents) cost me $2.12 with tax.  Sorry no pictures of those trips ;)


Hy-Vee total spent $45.53
1 - Braided Mozzarella
$7.99

1 - Parmesan Cheese Wedge
$4.19

1 - Hy-Vee Garlic Bread
$1.88

4 - Post Honey Bunches of Oats $2.38
4 - $1/1 Post Honey Bunches of Oats
$5.52 or $1.38 each

2 - Classic Wonder Bread
$2.96 or $1.48 each

2 - 3lb Delight Farms Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
$11.98 or $5.99 each

1 - Broccoli
$2.99

2 - Dole Natural Salad Kits $1.18 each
1 - $2/2 Dole Natural Salad Kits (print limit reached)
36 cents or 18 cents each!

1 - Driscoll Strawberries $4.99
1 - $1/1 Driscoll Product (mailed to me after reviewing their products)
$3.99

Price Chopper total spent $115.02

4 - Diet Pepsi 2 L
$3.12 or 78 cents each

1 - Plain Yogurt
$1.89

1 - Dozen Eggs
$2.09

1 - 16 oz Fresh Mozzarella
$5.59

4 - Kraft Shredded Cheese
$7.52 or $1.88 each

4.24 lbs Trimmed Beef Brisket
$16.92

1.65 lbs Beef Stew Meat
$6.59

1.87 lbs London Broil
$9.14

2 - Best Choice Apple Juice
$2.98 or $1.49 each

1 - Chopped Green Chilies
95 cents

1 - Best Choice 2lb package of Medium Grain Rice
$1.69

1 - Fresh Sweet Basil
$2.99

1 - Flat Leaf Parsley
89 cents

2 - Baby Carrots
$1.36 or 68 cents each

1.54 lbs Bananas
$1.06

2 - Cucumbers
$1.58 or 79 cents each

1 - Green Onion bunch
59 cents

1 - Green Pepper
79 cents

2.27 lbs Roma Tomatoes 99 cents/lb
$1.72

Ground Cardamom
$4.79

Curry Powder
$1.99

1 - 2.25lbs Basmati Rice
$7.95

1 - Kalamata Olives
$5.93

1 - 3 oz jar Capers
$3

1 - White Wine
$2.50

1 - Sherry Wine
$2.50

1 - Garam Masala
$3.65

1 - Coconut Milk
$2.63


Total Spent: $166.87

I went over by $16.87, but I did expect it since I needed to buy specialty spices and rice.  That just means in two weeks I need to come in under.  I am sure I can do it :)

Now for the fun stuff.  The meals I plan to make!  They are not in any specific order and I plan to post recipes after I cook them and we try them.  I am so excited and am thrilled to be preparing better meals for my family.
  • Lemon Spaghetti
  • Crockpot Teriyaki Chicken
  • Baked Sweet and Sour Chicken
  • Asian Style Brisket
  • Spaghetti with Tomatoes, Kalamata Olives, Mozzarella, and Garlic
  • Tomato and Mozzarella Pasta al Forno
  • Crockpot Beef Stroganoff
  • Broccoli Beef
  • Mongolian Beef
  • Indian Butter Chicken
  • Crispy Cheddar Chicken
  • Spaghetti with Sauteed Chicken and Tomatoes
I plan to make or order pizza one night each week as well.  I already have everything to make pizza so that will not require another trip to store thankfully :)  Although I can guarantee that we will need to go to store to buy more milk.  We go through two gallons per week so I know I need to pick up two more.  Any leftovers will be used for lunches so that will help stretch the dollar as well.  Not too bad considering my extreme lack of coupons.  I must say I think I may enjoy the freedom of limited coupons.  I missed cooking a wide variety of meals and am happy to be using fresh, non-processed ingredients again!

Don't forget to check back and see how I made the recipes and what my family thought about them!

You can stay up to date by following on Facebook or Twitter!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

How Clean is Your Dishwasher?

I've been super busy trying to get all the kitchen of my apartment sparkly and clean...sure wish the property management felt the same way when we moved in, but what do you do...right???  Roll up your sleeves and dig in I suppose.  One thing that has really drove me nuts is the dishwasher.  As soon as I moved in I looked inside and was thoroughly disgusted.  I removed all the big particles and ran a few cycles to try and clean it, but was never fully satisfied.  So last night I began researching how to clean a dishwasher and this is what I did.  First off I need to warn you that this will be incredibly disgusting no matter how well cleaned you think your dishwasher is.  The first step is to completely empty your dishwasher and take the bottom basket out.


Ready to get cleaning!
Next, you will need to remove the back filter trap with a screw driver or in my case socket wrench and then it should pop off easily (DO NOT force it off!).


Then, be prepared for the nasty disgusting mess you will find...you may want gloves for this part and may need someone else to do this part if you have a bad gag reflex.  This is what mine looked like.....EEEWWWW!!!!


I told you it wasn't pretty....GROSS!
If your filter trap is as filthy as mine was then this will take a little time.  I used a butter knife to chip away the large chunks and then soaked it for a few hours (about 3, but you can do it overnight) with 2/3 cups baking soda and 2 cups white vinegar in a plastic Ziploc bag.  Add the baking soda first and then slowly add the vinegar because it will start bubbling and fizzing like crazy (remember science class???  LOL).

Once the filter trap is cleaned put it back and move on to the steam filter.  My steam filter has tons of nasty build up, but it does not pop off easily so I could not clean it :(  From everything I read it should pop off easily by running a butter knife along the edge.  If it does not then leave it alone.  I have a really old dishwasher and I could see there are screws or something holding it from the inside of the door and it looks like I would have to take the actual front panel of the door off to remove. 


Also make sure all the spray holes are free of any debris.  Just take an object such as a screwdriver and poke it down, but be careful not to scratch up the finish.  If they are free of debris it is fine.  Do not try to pry the debris out as much as you want to it will be nearly impossible (Notice I said nearly....it is possible, but since I am renting I did not want to do any real damage).


If you have a top spray mechanism don't forget to clear those holes as well
Make sure all edges are cleaned.  Especially the bottom where the door seals since many times food and debris gets stuck down here, but no water actually runs there.  don't forget to wipe down all the seals and the top of the dishwasher as well. 

Finally, make sure any large bits are out of the dishwasher and then pour baking soda in the open compartment (or the compartment that does not fully seal) and add white vinegar to the seal able compartment.  Make sure the vinegar is in the sealed compartment!


Close the dishwasher and run a normal wash.  When done you can just wipe off any residue that has been loosened and left behind.  That's it!  It sounds more complicated than it actually is and it really takes no time at all.  Now my dishes are coming out extremely clean and I am happy again :)

Printable Grocery Coupons and Freebies 12/29/11


It's amazing to think that 2011 is almost over isn't it?!?  It seems that this year has flown by, but the older I get the more I realize time is moving more quickly.  Since it is the end of the month you may want to head over to all the major coupon sites and print off your end of the month coupons that you may want to use.  While I was browsing through I stumbled across some new printable grocery coupons that may interest you.  Here is a list of all the new coupons I have found today:

$2.50/1 Cetaphil Restoraderm

$0.55/1 Fresh Express Salad

$1/1 Planter's NUT-rition Product

$0.75/1 All 28 load or larger

Coupons.com
$0.75/1 Wet Ones Wipes Product
$2/2 cans of illy issimo
$0.50/1 Oscar Mayer Lunchables with Fruit
$0.50/1 All You Magazine (sold at WalMart and contains tons of coupons!)
$1/1 Kashi GoLean Cereal
$1/1 Kashi GoLean Crisp Cinnamon Crumble Cereal
$1/1 Kashi Soft and Chewy Banana Chocolate Chip Bars
$1.50/2 WASA Products
$5/1 Enfamil EnfaGrow Powder
$1.50/1 Smart Balance Milk
$1.50/2 Atkins Day Break Products
Don't forget to print your month end coupons!

SmartSource
$2/1 Pull-Ups Training Pants
Also print your end of month coupons

$3/1 Zantac 24-ct or larger

$1/1 Coffee-Mate Natural Bliss

$1/1 Trop50 Product (enter your resolution to get the coupon and share a $0.50/1 coupon with your friends)

$1/1 President Specialty Cheese

$1/1 Marzetti Otria Greek Yogurt Dip

Free Sample of Meow Mix

Rebate for New Arm & Hammer Ultra Last Cat Litter (must purchase 20lb bag and rebate for up to $8.99)

Free Sample of Lancome Visionnaire

I hope you will follow my journey on My Road to Savings.  Find me on my facebook and twitter pages!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Sneak Peek Meal Plan and Grocery List



First, I started browsing to figure out what I wanted to make for dinner the first week of January.  Honestly it was pretty easy for me.  I just started by checking out Pinterest and StumbleUpon (I am completely in LOVE with both sites!).  Here is what I decided to make:
  • Indian Butter Chicken (Chicken Makhani) with Basmati Rice and carrots
  • Mongolian Beef with Steamed Rice
  • Broccoli Beef over Steamed Rice
  • Beef Stroganoff over Hot Buttered Noodles with side salad
  • Spaghetti with Tomatoes, Black Olives, Fresh Mozzarella, and Garlic
  • Tomato and Mozzarella Pasta al Forno with Garlic Bread


Once that was decided I needed to figure out what exactly I had on hand and what I needed to buy.  So I put together my grocery list and this is what I will need to pick up:

Cardamom pods
Garam masala
Curry powder
Coconut milk
Plain yogurt
Cheese cloth
3 lbs Flank steak
1 bunch Green onions
White wine (for cooking)
Broccoli
2 lbs beef (stew type)
Grape or Cherry tomatoes (10 oz or so)
½ cup black olives (kalamata)
1 – 1 ½ lbs fresh mozzarella cheese
Capers
Flat leaf parsley
2 lbs chicken
Basmati rice
2 gallons milk
Bread
Cucumber
Lettuce
Lemons
Lime
and of course Diet Pepsi :) I am starting to cut back that's what the lemons and limes are for...WATER! 
I also plan to pick up some type of "sticky rice" from the International Market, but that really depends on how expensive it is.  Otherwise white long grain will do :)

It may be a bit over my goal, but I need to get some spices which I do not have on hand and I am not sure how much those are going to cost me.  Hopefully it won't bust the bank too much ;)  Check back to see how I make the recipes and what we think of them! 

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Follow My Road to Savings on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date!

Done for the Year!



Let me start off by saying we had a fabulous Christmas this year and I hope you all did as well!  My dad came into town for Christmas and surprised the kids.  We spent the last few days eating, laughing, playing, and just spending time together.  I am so excited to actually be within driving distance from all of our family and look forward to more visitors throughout the year. 

Now onto the summary of 2011.  I did meet all my goals for savings this year and now it is time to make a new one.  I know we still have a week left for this year, but we have a bunch of sausage and fish that my dad brought with him.  Plus we have chicken and beef still in the freezer.  I am good on veggies (no fruit, but we have canned stuff for now) and I just got a free box of goodies (2 packages of hamburger buns, 1 loaf of bread, and 2 pizza crusts!) from Udi's so we are set on bread for the next week!

If you remember my goals for 2011 were:
  1. Spend less than $100/week (actual $78.62)
  2. Save 50% on my grocery spending (actual 54%)
  3. Spend less than $5,000 on groceries in 2011 (actual $4,088.28)
You all know I love my coupons and saving money, but I have decided to take a different approach this year.  I will still use coupons and be aware of savings.  However, I am actually going to do my meal plan and then shop instead of relying on sales for my meal plan.  After a year of clipping coupons and catching the hottest sales I have noticed that many of the great deals are processed junk food in my opinion (not all of them and I understand that).  I want to freshen up our meals and bring more variety in.  So starting the first of the year I will be focusing on fresh meals and my goal is to spend no more than $75 per week.  This past week I have also been researching and finding many recipes for making your own household products for a fraction of the cost.  I have found ways to make my own "windex", laundry soap, "oxi-clean", general purpose cleaner and many other items that as soon as I try them I will post them and tell you how I feel about them.

I want to post more tips and tricks for 2012 and show people you can eat great meals while saving money.  I have my menu planned already for the first week of January along with my shopping list.  I will post a sneak peek  HERE for you to see my list and meal plan.  Make sure you keep an eye out for the actual recipes after I make them.  I will give you an honest review as to what my family and I thought of the recipe. 

Now onto the good stuff.  My actual resolutions for 2012 are as follows:
  1. Spend $75/week on groceries
  2. Provide healthier and fresher meals to my family
  3. Learn how to make my own household products
I am excited for the new year and can't wait to see what 2012 will bring my family and me!  There are so many exciting things to try and fun crafts to try that I can't wait to see how they actually turn out.   

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I hope you will follow my journey on My Road to Savings' facebook and twitter pages!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Printable Grocery Coupons 12/22/11


There are some great printable grocery coupons that I found today. I am especially excited for the Honey Bunches of Oats one. We love that cereal in our house and I am sure I will find a great deal on it soon :)

$1/1 Honey Bunches of Oats Cereal

$1/1 New Skin Product

$1/1 Dermoplast Product

$1/1 A+D Product

$1/2 Skittles or Starburst Banks

$1/1 Freschetta Artisan Crust

$0.75/1 Ban Antiperspirant Deodorant

$2.50/1 Bon Appetit Steam Baked Meal

$2/1 Benefiber Product

$1/1 Bayer Advanced Product

$1.50/1 Desitin Soothing Rash Bath Treatment

$1/1 Lifesavers Retro Mint Tin

$1/1 Palermo's Pizza

Not sure if I will be on to check coupons for the next couple of days. My dad is coming into town tomorrow and we are surprising the kids...they are going to be so happy to see papa! And then of course it will be Christmas Eve and Christmas so I will be spending time with my family, eating lots of goodies, and just enjoying the holiday. Hope everyone has a Very Merry Christmas!

Also, don't forget to find My Road to Savings on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date on coupons, deals, and tips for saving!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Printable Grocery Coupons 12/20/11


I know I have been MIA when it comes to passing along coupons and savings lately, but it has been a crazy last couple of days.  Unfortunately I do not expect things to slow down anytime soon, but now that my daughter is out for break I am hoping to get some time in to stay caught up.  Here are the printable grocery coupons I have found today:

$0.50/1 Hostess Frosted Devil's Food Donettes

$3/2 John Frieda Enhancing Hair Care Products

B1G1 Free Sunbelt 8-ct Box Granola Bars or Fruit Grain Bars

$1/2 Holiday Peeps

$1/2 Ghirardelli Squares Chocolate

$0.55/1 Borden 1/2 Gallon Milk

B2G1 Scotties Tissues

$0.99/1 Coke Zero

$1/1 International Delight Coffee Creamer

$1/1 Kashi Pita Crisps

$3/1 24-ct or larger Zantac

$1.50/1 Van's Natural Foods Product

$0.50/1 Carla's Pasta

Free Sample of Frizz Ease Smooth Start Repairing Shampoo and Conditioner

Free Sample Kleenex Cool Touch Tissue

$1.50/2 Food Should Taste Good Products

Free Essence of Beauty Hand Cream

Whew!  That's my round-up of coupons from the last couple of days...I will try to be better about staying on top of them :)

Also, don't forget to find My Road to Savings on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date on coupons, deals, and tips for saving!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Super Deals at Aldi, Amazon, and CVS


I went out to pick up a couple of things today.  Just a few staples and snack type food because my husband was complaining that we only had sweet stuff in the house.  With all the baking I have been doing I have to admit that I was not at all motivated to do any shopping, but he was right...we can't live on cookies....I guess ;) 

Aldi
1 - Bag of Chicken Nuggets
$3.99

1 - Bag Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
$5.99

1 - Honey Wheat Bread
$1.29

1 - Wheat Bread
$0.99

1 - BBQ Potato Chips
$1.39

1 - Bag White Corn Tortilla Chips
$1.19

1 - 12 pack Ramen Noodles
$1.99

1 - PopTarts
$1.79

1 - 2# Bag Sweet Onions
$1.49

1 - Egg Nog
$1.89

1 - Vitamin D Milk
$1.94

1 - 2% Milk
$1.93

Total Spent:  $28.11
At other stores this trip would have easily been over $40.  We should be set for the next few days and I am hoping for a better ad with some meat deals.  That is all I need right now so hopefully the new ad starting Wednesday will be nice to me ;)

CVS
2 - Arm & Hammer Spinbrush $6.39
2 - $2/1 Arm & Hammer Spinbrush
$8.78 or $4.39 each

1 - Schick Hydro 5 Razor
$8.49

Used $7 Extra Bucks from a past trip & Received $9 Extra Bucks for my next purchases

Total Spent:  $10.27
Total Saved:  $13.36
Percent Saved:  57%

This worked out great because my husband needed a new razor and I needed to get toothbrushes for stocking stuffers.  The $9 Extra Bucks I am saving in case I need to buy diapers.  I ordered them through Amazon, but they won't be here until Wednesday and that is pushing it close this time.  Hopefully we don't run out, but if we do my out of pocket cost will be minimal.

Amazon
Pampers Baby Fresh Wipes - 504 Ct
Subscribe and Save price $11.71 ($0.02/wipe)
Free shipping through Amazon Prime
Total OOP:  $12.72

Huggies Snug and Dry 140-ct Box
Subscribe and Save Price $30.39 ($0.20/diaper)
$3 Coupon below product description
Free Shipping through Amazon Prime
Total OOP:  $29.76

After you receive the item you can cancel your subscribe and save subscription if you wish without any hassle.  I usually do and then I shop to find the best deal when I need the item again.  Probably first of the year I will need to order toilet paper and dishwasher soap.  I have been happy getting these items from Amazon.  It may not be the best deal, but I like having these items on hand and stocked for  a good 3-6 months without having to buy them again. 

Total Spent this week:  $80.86  Not bad considering the case of diapers and wipes, but good thing is I will not need to buy them again for awhile :) 

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Super Easy Fudge




I have been making this super easy fudge for years.  This year I just did plain chocolate, but you can do peanut butter, butterscotch, peanut butter chocolate, or any other flavor you would like.  I have always cut them up into squares, but this year I was browsing the web and saw a comment from a person who said she put hers in lined mini muffin tins (now why didn't I think of that???).  Seriously...what a great idea!!!  I will always make them this way from now on.  They have super cute holiday liners and are the perfect portion size.  I think they look so cute this way :)



Super Easy Fudge
1 - 12oz bag chocolate chips
1 - 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp vanilla
  1. In a double boiler melt chocolate chips and milk while stirring constantly.  For a double boiler just take a pan and fill with about 1-2 inches of water.  Set a heat resistant bowl on top (glass or stainless steel bowl).  The bowl should be on top of the pan and not in the water!  Do not boil the water, but bring it to a simmer (medium to medium-high heat) and then place the bowl on top of the pan. 
  2. Once all the chocolate is melted and smooth remove from heat and add the vanilla.
  3. Fill each lined cup with the fudge and refrigerate.
Super easy and simple, but yet oh so yummy!  And I love the idea of the mini muffin cups.  It helps to bring a little more festivity to the plate and it portions everything out for me easier.

Hot Cocoa Cookies

Hot Cocoa Cookie
These Hot Cocoa Cookies are incredibly delicious!  So gooey and yummy!  They fill your house with chocolaty goodness while they bake and are incredibly hard to resist when they are cooling.  We made two types of these cookies...the original cookie form as seen above and Hot Cocoa Bites (made in a mini muffin tin).  My daughter prefers the bites and I think I like them as well.  They are more compact and easier to add to a cookie platter, but still taste delicious!  I do like the cookie form too...well heck I don't think it matter what they look like they are just that good.  I will say the marshmallows in the batter do cause the cookies to sometimes take a weird form since they melt to liquid and I had to "trim" some of the marshmallows that spread to far when they were cooled.  When baking them in the mini muffin tin they obviously can't spread so they hold their shape and make a cute little cup to hold the marshmallows you place on the top.

Hot Cocoa Bites
No matter which way you decide to make them, the end result is still heaven!  These are a great addition to any Christmas Cookie Platter...if they ever make it out the door ;)

Hot Cocoa Cookies

Hot Cocoa Cookies
1 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup marshmallow fluff
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup mini marshmallows (and extras to top cookies with)
  1.  Cream butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla until fluffy. 
  2. Mix flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl until combined.
  3. Slowly add flour mixture to creamed mixture (about 1/2 cup at a time) until well blended.  This put my stand mixer to the test.  This is a very thick and sticky dough. 
  4. Stir in marshmallow fluff.  The best way is to use your hands this is a very thick dough.
  5. Fold in chocolate chips and marshmallows.  Cover dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. 
  6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  When oven is ready then take the dough out of the refrigerator and roll into 1 inch balls.  Place on cookie sheet or in a mini muffin pan (do not grease pans, but make sure you are using a good non-stick pan).
  7. Bake for approximately 7-9 minutes.  The ones on the muffin tin I baked for 9 minutes, but the ones on the cookie sheet I only baked for 7 minutes. 
  8. When you take the cookies from the oven top with three mini marshmallows.  If you want gooey marshmallows then place back in the oven for 1 minute.  The ones in the muffin tin got gooey without having to put back in the oven.
  9. Cool the cookies in the refrigerator for 15 minutes before removing from the baking sheet.  These cookies are very sticky and gooey from the marshmallows so they need to be cooled before removing otherwise they will stick and fall apart.
  10. Transfer to wire racks to cool completely for about 30 minutes.
These are definitely a great cookie that we will be making for years to come :)
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Printable Grocery Coupons 12/17/11


$1/1 Pilgrim's Fully Cooked Chicken

$1/2 King's Hawaiian Round Bread

$1/3 Juicy Juice Products

$0.05/2 Pace Products
B2G1 Nabisco Crackers
$3/1 Bon Appetit Steam Baked Meals
$1/1 Scotch Safe Cut Package Opener
$1/1 Balmex Diaper Cream
Buy any Pledge or Armstrong Floor Cleaner and Get FREE Fantastik Cleaner

$1/2 Nabisco Crackers

Also, don't forget to find My Road to Savings on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date on coupons, deals, and tips for saving!

Rudolph Cookies



These are the most important cookie in our house during Christmas.  They are not really a cookie, but the kids love them and adults do as well.  Simple ingredients and no baking...the worst part of these cookies are that your back will be killing you because you need to make so many since people love them so much (I am making at least 100 this year...OUCH!).  These are a nice change of pace from all the overly sweet treats this time of year and they hold tons of charm :)

Rudolph Cookies
Graham Crackers (broken in half)
Pretzels (not the mini ones)
Chocolate Chips
Cherry Sours (Any place that has a Jelly Belly station will have these and I also heard Walgreen's carries their own brand)
Candy Melts (I use Peanut Butter and have been finding them at Michael's lately)
Piping bags with tips or a Ziploc bag works fine too just clip a corner off, but not too much...you don't want candy melts oozing everywhere. Remember you can always clip more, but you can't put back ;)
  1. Place all ingredients out on the table.  This is important because you don't want your candy melts to harden before you're done (you can always reheat them, but they don't recommend it)
  2. Prepare candy melts as directed on the package. 
  3. I do all the noses first by placing a small dot of candy melt (about dime size) on the tip of the graham cracker(10 at a time...so the melt does not harden) and then placing a cherry sour on top.
  4. Place a small dot of candy melt on the top tip of the graham cracker (again 10 at a time so the candy does not harden).  Place a pretzel on top and then cover the bottom portion of the pretzel with more candy melt.  Repeat for all the rest of the cookies you are making.
  5. Then place two small dots (size of pencil eraser) of candy for eyes (I only do about 3-4 at a time so the candy won't harden).  Place chocolate chips inside the center of each dot and repeat for the rest.
  6. Allow to cool completely so candy will harden.

These are so much fun and are adorable.  Just look at them...how could you not love them??? Pin It

Friday, December 16, 2011

Soft and Chewy Molasses Cookies



Soft and Chewy Molasses Cookies

3/4 Cup Butter, Softened
1 Cup Brown Sugar, Packed
1 Egg
1/4 Cup Molasses
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
1 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Salt
2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
1 tsp Ground Cloves
1 tsp Ground Ginger
Granulated Sugar (to roll cookies in)
  1. In a medium bowl mix together the softened butter, brown sugar, and egg until smooth.  Stir in molasses.
  2. In a small bowl combine flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves, and ginger. 
  3. Mix flour mixture into molasses mixture about 1/2 cup at a time.
  4. Cover and chill dough for 1 hour.
  5. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  While oven is preheating roll dough into walnut sized balls and then roll them in sugar.
  6. Place cookies 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets.
  7. Bake 7-10 minutes in the preheated oven, until the tops are cracked.  You have to really watch these cookies because you want them chewy and if you bake them too long they will be hard.  Once they start cracking they are done.
  8. Cool on wire racks.
These are a yummy classic cookie which taste sort of like a gingersnap, but are soft and chewy.  They can be iced if you wish or leave them as they are.  It's up to you :)  And I also have to add that these leave a nice spicy aroma in your house...LOVE IT!

Peanut Butter Treasures


Yum!  Peanut Butter Treasures are my FAVORITE cookie!  There is just something about them...peanut butter cookies with Reese's peanut butter cups....how can they go wrong?  These are pretty easy and in my opinion no cookie platter is complete without them ;)

Peanut Butter Treasures
1-3/4 Cups All-Purpose Flour
1/2 tsp Salt
1 tsp Baking soda
1/2 Cup Butter, Softened
1/2 Cup White Sugar
1/2 Cup Peanut Butter
1/2 Cup Packed Brown Sugar
1 Egg, Beaten
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
2 TBS Milk
Miniature Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Cups, Unwrapped (store in the freezer while cookies bake to prevent chocolate from melting into a puddle)
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  In a small bowl sift together the flour, salt, and baking soda.
  2. Cream together the butter, sugar, peanut butter, and brown sugar until fluffy.  Beat in the egg, vanilla, and milk.  Add the flour mixture and mix well (I add little bits at a time about 1/2 cup to make it easier).
  3. Shape into small balls and place each in a lined mini-muffin pan cup.
  4. Bake at 375 degrees for about 8 minutes.  Remove from the oven and immediately press in a mini peanut butter cup into each ball.
  5. Place pan in the fridge for about 15 minutes to help cool and to prevent chocolate from melting completely.
  6. Remove cookies from pan and cool completely on a wire rack
If you don't have a mini muffing pan you could bake them on a cookie sheet.  They may flatten a bit so they will have a different shape, but they will still taste really good...I promise :)  You could also roll the balls in granulated sugar before baking if you would like. 
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Chow Mein Cookies


Chow Mein Cookies are very easy and fun for kids to help with.  Of course I melted the chips, but everything else was done by my 9 year old daughter.  She is so excited to make cookies this year and these ones she is so proud to be able to put on our cookie platter :)  We debated on half chocolate chips and half butterscotch chips, but decided to keep them just butterscotch since we will be making Hot Cocoa Cookies too.  Here is the very easy recipe"

Chow Mein (Haystacks) Cookies
3 Cups Butterscotch Chips
1 5 oz can of Chow Mein Noodles
1 Cup Peanuts
  1. Melt the butterscotch chips over low heat in a medium saucepan stirring constantly.
  2. Stir in chow mein noodles and peanuts.
  3. Drop by teaspoonfuls on foil and let stand until cool.
One tip is to let them cool slightly so they hold their shape a little before dropping them onto the foil.  What an easy cookie to keep the kids busy while you are doing the hard stuff ;)

Cheesy Ham and Potato Soup

 
 
Cheesy Ham and Potato Soup is definitely on of my favorite soups. It is super easy to make and can be suited to your own taste.  I add carrots and broccoli to round out the soup, but those can easily be omitted if you wish.  You can top with bacon, scallions, sour cream, more cheese, or serve in bread bowls.  We love this soup and the best part is it only takes about 30 minutes to make. 
 
Cheesy Ham and Potato Soup

4 cups potatoes , peeled and diced 
1/3 cup carrot, diced
32 oz Chicken Broth
1/3 cup onion , finely chopped
1 -2 cup ham , diced and cooked
5 tablespoons butter
5 tablespoons flour
2 cups milk
2 cups shredded cheese
1 bag of chopped broccoli

  1. Combine potatoes, carrots, onion, ham, and chicken broth in stockpot and bring to boil.
  2. Then cook over medium heat until potatoes are tender.
  3. In separate saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat. Whisk in flour and cook stirring constantly until thick.
  4. Slowly stir in milk until all milk is added. Continue to stir until thick  about 4-5 minutes
  5. Add in cheese and stir until melted.
  6. Stir the cheese mixture and broccoli into the stockpot and cook until heated through.

 Serve with toppings of your choice and enjoy!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

No Coupons 12/18/11



Looks like this Sunday there will be no coupons in your paper.  So if you go out to specifically purchase a paper for coupons it doesn't look like anything will be in there.  Go HERE to confirm what inserts are scheduled for 12/18/11.

Also, don't forget to find My Road to Savings on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date on coupons, deals, and tips for saving!

Burger King Free Fries Friday


Burger King has revamped their fry and in honor of that they have dubbed tomorrow (12/16/11) free fries Friday.  At Burger King's nation wide you will be able to get a free value fry (no purchase necessary) while supplies last.  Go HERE to read the details about their new fry and the free fry giveaway.

Also, don't forget to find My Road to Savings on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date on coupons, deals, and tips for saving!

Sunbelt Cereal B1G1 Printable Coupon



If you go to the Sunbelt Facebook page you will find a printable coupon for B1G1 Sunbelt Cereal.  I have never tried this cereal and many of my stores do not allow printable B1G1 coupons, but I know stores like Target and Walmart usually will.  The Berry Basic looks rather yummy so I might see if I can find some here :)

Also, don't forget to find My Road to Savings on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date on coupons, deals, and tips for saving!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Printable Grocery Coupons 12/14/11


Here is a list of the printable grocery coupons that I have found today:

$0.50/2 Frigo Cheese Product

B1G1 Chiquita Avocados

$1/1 Ferrero Rocher

$1/1 Aquaphor Product

$2/1 Burt's Bees Sensitive Skin Care Product

$1/1 Colgate Sensitive Pro-Relief
$1/1 Advil Congestion Relief
$1/1 PediaCare Product
$1/1 Torani Flavored Syrup

Also, don't forget to find My Road to Savings on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date on coupons, deals, and tips for saving!











Ridiculously Easy Scalloped Potatoes and Ham

Today I was going to make Ham and Potato Soup, but it was 62 degrees in Kansas City today so it didn't feel like soup weather to me.  It is suppose to drop 20 degrees tomorrow so maybe I will make the soup tomorrow or Friday.  Anyway, since I wasn't in a soup mood I needed to find something else to make for dinner tonight.  I had a 5 lb ham so I decided to finally make use of the free boxes of scalloped potatoes I had.  I used about 2 lbs of the ham and will use the rest of the ham for the soup later this week.  Now this is ridiculously easy to make, but I am sure there are many people who appreciate these types of recipes.  I know I love these types of recipes for a quick and easy meal when we are running around or if I am just tired and don't feel like slaving over a stove in the kitchen. 


Ridiculously Easy Scalloped Potatoes and Ham

2 Boxes of Scalloped Potatoes (you could use Au Gratin as well)
Diced Ham
Milk
Water
Butter
  1. Prepare the potatoes according to instructions on the box
  2. Add the diced ham and bake according to instructions on the box
Told you it was simple :)  I will add that I felt it was a bit salty.  Not sure if that was from the sauce or the addition of the ham.  I would probably try and add a veggie next time like green beans or broccoli to see if that helps cut the salt content.  All in all it was a really good dish that everyone liked and it was ridiculously easy to make.  We served ours with green beans and peaches on the side to round out the meal.  Hope you all enjoy it!



Christmas Cookie Baking Time

Not too sure I will be doing any major grocery shopping  this week.  The sales don't look that great to me so I may just pick up some meat, produce, and milk at Aldi.  We will see, but it's not looking promising.  We will be busy this making cookies this weekend anyway.  My daughter is extremely excited to make Christmas cookies and we have our list of cookies to make.
 
I'm sure our cookies will look nothing like these, but we'll have fun making them!
After searching and reading many different cookie recipes we have come to a decision and our cookie plates will consist of the following:

Hot Cocoa Cookies
Haystacks
Peanut Butter Cup Cookies
Molasses Cookies
Sugar Cookies (decorated and frosted)
Reindeer Cookies (an old family tradition, I will post the recipe after we make them.  They are different than any other I have ever seen and everyone LOVES them!)
Simple Fudge

I think that is enough.  I actually had to scale back because my daughter wanted to make more.  I told her we would see how these go before we jump into more.  We would have cookies everywhere if it was up to her :)  She wants to make chocolate chip, snickerdoodles, gingerbread, and lemon cookies in addition to what we already have planned!  I am definitely looking forward to our weekend of Christmas Cookie baking and can't wait to share our goodies with everyone!

Make sure you check back for the recipes or find My Road to Savings on Facebook and Twitter so you know when the new recipes are posted!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

V-Tech Cars - Lightning McQueen Digital Camera

Wow!  This camera is marked down to $59.99 to $19.99 right now on Amazon.com.  Go HERE to pick this camera up if one is on your Christmas list.  Additionally, if you are a Prime member you will also get free shipping!  Can't beat this deal!

Also, don't forget to find My Road to Savings on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date on coupons, deals, and tips for saving!

Rock Star Mickey $29.99

I was at Target today and noticed the Rock Star Mickey was marked down to $29.99.  I couldn't pick it up because my son was with me, but I went to their website HERE and found it was marked down there as well.  This retails for $54.99 and if you use your redcard you will get an additional 5% off.  Another bonus is that it ships for free!  It looks like this price is only good for today so if you are looking for one of these grab it now!

Also, don't forget to find My Road to Savings on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date on coupons, deals, and tips for saving!

Printable Grocery Coupons 12/13/11


Here are the printable grocery coupons I have found today:

$2/2 DiGiorno Pizzas

$1/2 Quaker Chewy Granola Bars

$1/1 Fix Quick Product
$3/1 K-Y Product
$1/1 Spot Shot
$1/1 Hormel Refrigerated Entree (zip 33901)
$1/1 Hormel Fresh Entrees (zip 33901)

$0.40/1 Texas Toast Frozen Bread Product

Also, don't forget to find My Road to Savings on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date on coupons, deals, and tips for saving!





Monday, December 12, 2011

Splenda Essentials Freebie By Mail





Go HERE to request your Splenda Essentials freebie by mail.  These little packets are great to throw in your purse or keep in your glove box for when you need to add a little sweetener to something.  Not to mention they usually come with some great coupons as well!

Also, don't forget to find My Road to Savings on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date on coupons, deals, and tips for saving!

Printable Grocery Coupons 12/12/11



Here are the printable grocery coupons that I have found today:

$2/1 Huggies Little Movers Slip-On Diapers

$2/1 Crayola Ultimate Art Supplies or Crayon Tower
$2/1 Crayola Dry Erase Activity Center

$1/1 Splenda Sugar Blend or Brown Sugar Blend
$1/1 Splenda Essentials No Calorie Sweetener Product

$0.30/1 French's Fried Onion Products
$0.50/1 French's Worcestershire Sauce
$1/1 Dean's Heat 'n Eat Dip
$0.50/1 Kraft Big Slice Cheese
$0.80/1 Truvia Natural Sweetener
$1/1 Nivea Hand or Body Lotion
$1/1 Aquaphor Product
$1/1 Eucerin Skin Care Item
$1/1 Delsym Product
$2/1 Rembrandt Toothpaste or Mouthwash

Also, don't forget to find My Road to Savings on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date on coupons, deals, and tips for saving!