Saturday, January 10, 2009

Menu Plan Mondays

One of my New Year's resolutions is to be better at planning out my weekly meals. The cooking isn't the hard part - it's the thinking it up! Since Chris is at school three nights a week (he'll be done with his MBA in March), I haven't been cooking a whole lot at night. As a result, we don't have good leftovers for lunches the next day, which is a bummer. We're getting reaaaaally sick of canned soup and hot pockets for lunch.

So here we go. I'm going to start by planning 3 homecooked meals per week, and we'll see how that works out. Probably Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. That way we leave time to eat the leftovers in between. Here's my plan for this week.


Shredded Chicken Tacos
I've got some shredded chicken mix in the freezer from the last time I made it in the crockpot. I'll pull this out to thaw and then heat up the night of. I'm going to make some homemade crockpot blackbeans, rice (in the rice cooker), cafe rio tomatillo dressing, and then top it off with some lettuce, cheese, sour cream and salsa.

Cafe Rio Creamy Tomatillo Dressing
3 fresh tomatillos, cut into quarters

1 package Ranch Buttermilk Dressing mix
1 cup Mayo

1/3 to 1/2 cup buttermilk
1 cup fresh cilantro

2 cloves crushed garlic
1/4 teaspoon crushed cayenne pepper

Combine all ingredients in a blender and refrigerate one hour.

Crockpot Blackbeans
1 lb dry blackbeans

1 1/2 qts chicken stock*
1 green pepper, chopped

1 onion, chopped
1 tsp dried oregano

1 clove garlic
1 1/2 tsp cumin

1 oz red wine vinegar

Put dry blackbeans in a pot and cover with water until one inch above level of beans. Let soak overnight. The next morning, rinse blackbeans and combine all ingredients in crockpot. Cook on low 4-6 hours.

*This amount is approximate. Use enough chicken stock so liquid level is just above beans/ingredients level to avoid burning.


Easy Instant Baked Potato Soup
1 can Carnation Evaporated milk

1 can Butterball chicken broth
1 pouch Hungry Jack instant potato flakes

1 1/4 cup chives
cooked bacon

sour cream

(I think I might add an onion to this recipe)

Crumble cooked bacon in a pot. Add chives and cook over medium heat until chives are limp. Add one can chicken broth and one can water. Stir in one packet instant potato flakes. Once combined, remove from heat. Stir in condensed milk. Return to heat and heat until warmed through. Top with cheese and sour cream.


Crockpot Stuffed Cabbage
1 roll Jimmy Dean spicy hot sausage (I'm going to use regular sausage)

1 cup cooked rice (kept over from Monday)
1 head cabbage

1 can diced tomatoes

Mix sausage and rice into a ball until well-blended. Wash cabbage leaves and dip into boiling water for ~5 minutes until pliable. Place ~2 Tbsp of mixture into each cabbage leaf and roll into an envelope. Line cabbage leaves in crockpot and dump diced tomatoes on top. Cook on low for 8 hours, and serve with a baguette.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

My trunk this morning

This is what my trunk looked like this morning:

In case you haven't heard, there's a great deal on Pampers this week at Albertsons/Jewel! I paid less than $0.06 per diaper this morning! Details here.

*What's that you ask? I don't have any children so why I am stocking up on diapers?

Long answer: That's a good question -- one that my husband has also asked me in the past. I may be barren now but I DO plan on having children in the future...and the price of diapers just keeps going up! I currently have ~47 jumbo packs of diapers in rubbermaid tubs in my basement, just waiting for cute little bare bums. It's my goal to not have to buy a single retail-price pack of diapers for my first born. I showed Chris last week that the "sale" price at Target made big boxes of Pampers $0.26/diaper. When I show him I can get them for $0.06/diaper or less, he gives me the go-ahead to stock up.

Short answer: I have a sickness.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009


This post is for Jen, Melissa, Cassandra, Rach...and any other ladies out there who have or are having babies!

I want to tell you about one of the coolest sites ever - Babycheapskate. You can subscribe to it in your RSS feed or google reader so you get notified when there are new posts.

This site has a weekly post on Sundays telling you where the cheapest diapers and formula are found that week, as well as reviews on all kinds of diapers (name brand, store brand, and cloth). They also have daily posts for all the sales on baby clothing, strollers, carseats, toys, etc.

This site is EVERYTHING BABY. Go check it out!

Monday Madness

There was some serious madness going on yesterday - in the form of serious drugstore deals. Here are the details.

At Walgreens, I got 25 bottles of Garnier Fructis haircare for -$0.01 each after coupons. To eat up some of that overage, I got a bunch of lip glosses for $0.15 each with some good coupons that were about to expire. Total spent here was less than $3.

Next up was Rite Aid. Their Christmas items finally went to 75% off yesterday. I got 8 strands of outdoor LED Christmas lights for $2.49 each, some Christmas ribbon for $0.62 each, and some Christmas tins for $0.49 each. Next year I'll have LED lights on my house for the retail price of incandescents but the 90% power savings of LEDs. Yay! ((nerd))

Using two of the $20 coupons found in this weeks Sunday inserts, I "bought" two OneTouch Mini glucose meters which were on sale at Rite Aid for $19.99 (and which will be donated). Once I enter my receipts online at, I'll be getting a free Denise Austin workout DVD. Sweet!

Good day at the drugstores today.

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