Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Monday Meal Deal

Yesterday was that most unfortunate day of the week: Monday. It comes after every Sunday and brings with it a return to work and school, traffic, and any of the stress that you were able to dodge during the weekend. Even when you don’t work full time, you can always tell when it is Monday.

After a Monday that is every bit a Monday, sometimes the last thing that you want to do is come home from work and cook dinner. That is where this deal comes in:

Cotton Patch $6.99 Chicken Fried Chick or Chicken Fried Steak

This is only available on Monday nights, and only for dine-in. Hubby and I both got this deal and water to drink and were out for less than $20.00 even after tipping. An additional score is that I always split my chicken fried steak in half when I first get it (gravy on the side so that it won’t get soggy) and then split it again and place each ¼ of the original on a roll. Boom. Sandwiches for lunch the next day! For anyone keeping track, that means that a $6.99 dish makes two meals. A great deal any way you look at it!


Monday, February 20, 2012

My Weekend Deals (and kinda steals)

Hubby never worries when I tell him that I’ve been shopping. In fact, he knows that usually it means that there is more food in the kitchen. What can I say – I’m predictable. This weekend I found a few deals worth sharing that are still going on.

Great Clips $6.99 Haircut Sale

This sale started last weekend but is going until this Friday (02.24.12). If you usually just stop in somewhere for a haircut instead of religiously visiting the same stylist – this is a deal for you! There may be a little bit of a wait because of all of the other people trying to get the same deal, but at this price for a quick trim, it is worth the little bit extra time!


Every Sunday, I love reading the circular from Target. If you don’t get a newspaper (I don’t, but my mom does) you can always view the weekly deals online. Target had a couple of features this week that I took advantage of. And by a couple, I really mean three. The first one was a five pound box of Cuties for $4.99. These are great for a little snack or for part of a bagged lunch. The second was sort of a double deal for me. They have several pet items listed for $10.99 each – with an additional $5.00 gift card if you buy two of the participating products. I bought two 35 pound containers of kitty litter (oh trust me – it will get used) which were $1.00 off of the regular price each and then the $5.00 gift card. Total kitty litter savings: $7.00. Woo hoo! The last deal that I took part is was $5.00 for a Dr. Seuss book. I got Green Eggs and Ham. I know that we don’t have kids (yet) but when our friends bring theirs over it is nice to have a few things to help entertain them!

Pizza Hut $10 Meal Box

I spent Sunday morning hanging out with my mom and younger sister. After little sis left, we realized that the morning was becoming the afternoon and we needed to think about lunch. Cue a very well timed commercial for Pizza Hut’s new $10 Meal box and we had an idea. We called in the order and went in to pick it up (it’s always cheaper to pick up!) The box includes a rectangular one topping pizza, breadsticks with marinara, and cinnamon sticks with icing. In a word – yum. In more words than that – it was a great size for both of us and even left enough for my mom to have for dinner last night or lunch today.

So those are the deals that I took advantage of this weekend. I could have shopped for more groceries, but I stayed in on Saturday and cleaned. I mean really cleaned. As in lots of laundry and a super clean bathroom kind of cleaned. But who wants to hear about my bathroom anyway?


Friday, February 17, 2012

Introduction of Chaos

There are some times in life that go more smoothly than others. And then there are times when chaos is the dominating feature of life. Lately, no matter how hard I have tried, it seems that chaos has taken over my home. I am behind in pretty much all of my housework and it is driving me a little bit of crazy.

This weekend, the plan is to try and catch up on some things while Hubby is at work. I love it when he is home on the weekend and at night, but it is always easier for me to clean while he is out. Since we both work, that can occasionally help introduce that chaos. While I have still been cooking (that means that I’m caught up on cleaning the dishes) I am way behind in laundry. Part of that is from changing out the dryer hose and connection the outside of the house. Nothing is quite like doing laundry and having all of the lint fluff come out of a hole into the laundry room.

So wish me luck, and I promise that I’ll be better about posting once me new camera comes in! I want to take lots of pictures to post here and my iPhone just isn’t cutting it. And just so you know, I ordered the camera with rewards points. So I’m still being accountable for my spending.

Wishing you a happy weekend!


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Valentines Day Dinner: Fast and Impressive for More Time with Hubby

I used to work in a restaurant and remember times that we were still on a wait when we were supposed to be closed. One of the worst nights of the year was Valentines Day. Because of that experience and the desire not to spend the entire night waiting to eat (Hubby gets hungry and then he gets grumpy), I usually opt instead to cook at home.

On that same note, it is one of those nights that you don’t want to spend the entire night cooking. It is always good to have a few meals up your sleeve that are quick to put together but still tasty and impressive. Last night was one of those nights and one of those meals. I made baked Salmon Filets and Cheese Tortellini in Alfredo with Peas and Diced Tomatoes.

I know, it sounds really impressive. This is such a simple meal because it is just assembly. Today I’m not going to go into detail on the Salmon but will tell you how I put together the tortellini.

Tortellini in Alfredo

2 packages refrigerated tortellini
1 jar of Alfredo sauce
1 can of English peas, drained
1 can of diced tomatoes, drained

Set water on to boil for the tortellini per package instructions. In a sauce pan, combine the peas, tomatoes and Alfredo and simmer. Once the tortellini is cooked, drain, return to pot, and combine with sauce mixture.

See, simple right? It is really pretty tasty and super simple. It is a great dish for those nights that you don’t really want to cook and is much better (and cheaper) than takeout.



Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Weekend Review: Well, at least Weekend Gloss Over

This weekend was a whole lot of craziness and is the reason that I haven not posted since last Wednesday. You know when you have plans that you want to avoid to the point that you would rather the work week last forever than have the weekend come? Yeah, one of those. Ok, well that was just one of our plans – the other big ones were nice.

Saturday morning was best described as a big bowl of awkward with a side of guilt and ridicule. I’ll just leave it at that and say that I was sorry that it ended up that way and I’m glad that it’s over.

The rest of the day Saturday was really pretty nice and spent running errands with Hubby. I swear, today is that day that I’m going to order a decent small camera so that I can take pictures when we are out and about. Right now my options are to either use my iPhone (which lets be honest – not the very best camera out there) or carry around my good camera and look like a tourist at Target. Neither is a very attractive option.

Sunday was nice. Really. It was. If you don’t believe me then why are you still reading this? Hubby and I went to my mom’s for breakfast with my sister (waffles and berries – so good!) and later in the day we went to Hubby’s parents’ house for Christmas. Yes, Christmas was on February 12 and it snowed here so all we did was wait for winter to finally show up. I made a layered Mexican Dip that I forgot to take a picture of, but I’ll put the recipe below. It went over really well and was almost a meal in and of itself.

So that is my weekend review, or at least the Cliff Notes version of it.

Layered Mexican Dip

2 cans of fat free refried beans
1 can of chili
2 pouches of pre-made guacamole
1 container of sour cream
1 jar of medium salsa
2 cups of grated cheddar cheese
3 diced roma tomatoes
1 large can of sliced black olives
1 bunch of green onions, diced

Get a large casserole dish and layer each ingredient as follows: beans, chili, guacamole, sour cream, salsa, cheddar cheese, diced tomatoes, black olives, green onions. Serve at room temperature with tortilla chips. Enjoy!

This is a super simple recipe that is really very good and not entirely bad for you. It was a big hit and I will make it again!


Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Lunch with Hubby: A Rare Treat in the Work-Week

Yesterday was a very rare treat. Hubby was out running errands which included coming to see me at the office and going to lunch together. It hardly ever happens even though Hubby is off every other Monday and Tuesday. I usually bring my lunch and he usually saves the gas. Sometimes saving money isn’t the most fun, but it really pays off in the end (yes, I fully intended to make the pay off pun).

One thing that usually keeps us from meeting up for lunch is the cost. Not only are we out the money for the gas for him to drive to my office, but then the cost of two people eating out on a weekday. Right now though, Subway is revisiting their $5 foot long for any regular sub! Ahh, choices!

For $10.83 (after tax) we were both able to get a foot long sub of our choice and a cup for water. I got a tuna sub on wheat with American cheese, lettuce, bell pepper, lots of pickles, and mayo. I wasn’t able to eat all of mine, but with the price of a six-inch being just $0.25 less than a foot long, it was worth the quarter to have it for later. Hubby got a spicy Italian on Italian bread with pepper jack cheese, tomatoes, black olives, onions, and banana peppers.

We both ate (and I had a little left over) for so little that it made a fun time together even better by knowing that we weren’t breaking the bank.


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Last Night’s Dinner: Hot Dogs

There are many things that hot dogs are not. They are not glamorous, expensive, or time consuming to prepare. What they are is a good thing to keep in the refrigerator for those nights when unexpected things come up and you need a quick and cheap dinner.

The secret to good hot dogs is in how you prepare them. Some people put them on the grill, and that is great if you only have them on for a couple of minutes and you are doing something else on there too. Some people put them in the microwave. We don’t have a working microwave (Hubby doesn’t like them) so that’s out for me. We usually boil them – or I should really say that Hubby usually boils them. By adding a little bit of minced garlic to the water you can add a little bit of flavor to the hot dogs before you ever add any condiments.

For Hubby – more minced garlic and lots of ketchup. For me – American cheese, hamburger dill pickle slices, and yellow mustard.

In one word – yum.


Monday, February 6, 2012

Weekend Review – The Super Bowl made me not take pictures this weekend

I was a very busy girl this weekend but I have nothing to show you for it. Sorry, but I blame the Super Bowl. So since a picture is worth a thousand words, I had better get busy to at least make up one picture for you!

Hubby works every other weekend, so that means that I can get things done around the house by myself every other weekend. Hubby is a huge help when we work on things together, but I try to keep the small stuff done on my own so that we can either just hang out together or tackle the larger projects as a team. This weekend it was time to reclaim the living room from the chaos that had overtaken it. Part of that was my fault (shoes tend to collect in there) and part of it was Hubby’s fault (hello socks and other discarded clothing!) and the last part rest squarely on the furry shoulders of our cats. The current theory is that cats are agents of chaos.

But I do have a picture of this, so all together now! Ooooo! Ahhhh! I even straightened the pillows on the couch. What can I say – I’m an over achiever (actually glutton for punishment since the cats love to mess them back up!)

I have found that the fastest way to make a room look clean is to cut down on the clutter. Not only does this make the room look clean, but it can make a smaller space look bigger. Hubby had gaming books and metalworking materials on the coffee table and they fit perfectly in the baskets under the table that are there for just this very purpose. I also keep a basket on the tabletop for the remote controls. Not only do we not have to hunt them down, but they look neat and organized just by throwing them in the basket when we aren’t using them! Another great basket that we have in the living room is the one for the cats’ toys. I know that they can’t put them away on their own, but they can get them out when they want to play with them instead of just having them scattered all over the house. Again, a little bit of effort to toss them in the basket and it looks so much neater!

I also recommend cleaning out from under the furniture when you have the time. Things have a way of migrating under there. I found two socks (not matching), the ball from the cat scratcher with the little track around the edge for the ball to roll in. Apparently it is more entertaining for my cats to pull the ball out and hide it.

After the living room was clean, I went and spent the afternoon with my mom. We had Mexican food for lunch and it was amazing.

Sunday was filled with cooking mostly. I had grand plans to clean some more but kept getting distracted by just about anything except for cleaning. That and I truly believe that the cats were actively trying to thwart me. Why else would they get into the top of the closet in the office and knock down the basket full of scarves repeatedly? Once time that I went in there after the big crashing sound, Gambit was sitting in the basket and looking at all of the scarves on the ground. But this is what Gambit looked like as a kitten so I can’t stay too mad at him.

After attempting to clean, I went over to my mom’s and helped her get the ribs ready to go in the smoker. We used a dry rub from Emeril and modified it a little bit. I’ll post that at some point. I also went back home and made Red Hot and Blue style potato salad (recipe to follow later). It was just me, Hubby and my mom for the Super bowl, but we had lots of delicious food and now lots of delicious leftovers! This week I’ll make a few new meals out of leftovers to show you how versatile they can be. There is nothing quite like having a head start on a meal!

So until later…well…later!


Friday, February 3, 2012

Last Ngiht's Dinner: Pizza!

Last night Hubby worked late, so I took the oppertunity to go and spend some time with my mom after stocking up on a few grocery essentials. After helping her hang about 15 new things on her walls (she's so far ahead of me on this it's not even funny), we ordered pizza!

So price wise, pizza for me was free (!) because my mom paid. But here is the scoop on it anyway.

Right now, Pizza Hut sells any large pizza for $10 if it is carry out. The price goes up for the pizza if it is delivery and then you still have the delivery charge plus tip to pay. I'm sorry, but for that amount of money I'll go pick it up myself thankyouverymuch!

So while it's another night of no recipes (I promise, I usually cook!) it is another tip for eating out on the cheap.



Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Last Night's Dinner: Arby's French Dips

Sometimes it is just worth it to swing through and pick something up. Sorry to disappoint, but there is no recipe today, but just a tip.

I always look for coupons to places that we like to eat and try to take advantage of them when we can. Yesterday was the last day to use a 2 for $4 coupon for french dips at Arby's. The total for 8 sandwiches went from $32 to $17! Simple dinner and money saving! Oh, and I bought 8 of them so that there was dinner and a lunch for me, my mom, and Hubby.

So sorry that there is no recipe, but at least I had a coupon tip!