Saturday, June 29, 2013

Orange Chicken

I love it when I can find new and tasty recipes.
I love it even more when they are simple and easy to prepare.
The beauty of this dish is that it can be prepared two different ways, depending on how much time you have to spend in the kitchen or just what method you prefer!
Options, people. How great is that?!?


3-4 chicken breasts
1/2 cup BBQ sauce
1/2/ Orange Marmalade
1 TBSP soy sauce

Crock Pot option:
Place chicken in crock pot and cook on high for 3 hours or low for 5.
Cook chicken alone, in it's own juices
After the time is up, drain the excess juices
Mix together the sauces and marmalade, pour over chicken.
Cook in crock pot an additional 30 minutes.
Serve warm with side of Fried Rice.

Skillet option:
Cook cubed chicken in skillet until no more pink.
In a medium sauce pan mix together other ingredients
Transfer cooked chicken into sauce mixture and let simmer about 5-10 mins or unitl heated all the way through.
Serve warm with side of Fried Rice.
Super yummy dinner, my hubby asks for this all the time and I have no problem making it since it's so easy! I love having the option of planning ahead and letting it cook all day in the crock pot, or whipping it up really quick on the stove.
Plus we have totally cut down our ordering of Chinese takeout!
Hope you all enjoy!

Friday, June 28, 2013

Get paid to Shop?!?!

A while back, I stumbled on something that is "Super Duper Awesome"
( words my 2 year old would use)
The wonderful world of Ebates. 
Ebates is an awesome "cash back" site that pays YOU for shopping online.
They offer percentages of cash back for shopping at certain stores.
For example right now, they are offering 2.5% cash back at Carters
and 2/0% back at Old Navy.
If you are going to shop online, you might as well make money doing it!
All you have to do is go to first and then just search the
store that you want to buy from.
You can even use Amazon which right now is offering up to 3.0% cash back!!!
So, head on over to Ebates right now to get signed up and start
making yourself some money!
I know that I am using all the money I am getting back for
 Christmas shopping this year!
Please use this link so that I can get credit for referring you :)

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Cleaning your Dishwasher

I'll be the first to admit that when I first got married, I didn't know all the things that went into being a good housewife.  Sure, I had watched my own mother do it for years. I had done my fair share of chores and jobs around the house. But I really didn't know about the nitty gritty, the maintenance, the behind the scenes jobs, ect.
Like cleaning your dishwasher, for example. 
I had no idea that it was something that needed to be clean. I mean, it does the cleaning!
But food, gunk, and who knows what else can build up over time. This can cause your dishwasher to not clean as efficiently and cause grime and spots to appear on your dishes or leave them not as clean as you would like.
So about once a month I will run my dishwasher through it's own wash cycle. It's super easy to do and will get your dishwasher back in tip top shape!
1. In a dishwasher safe bowl, place about 2 cups vinegar and place on the top shelf.
2. Sprinkle about 1 cup baking soda all over the bottom of the washer.
3. Turn it on the hottest setting and let it go through a wash, empty of any dishes.
4. Once the wash is done I will take a cloth and wipe down the sides, bottom, and outside of the dishwasher.
5. Step back and enjoy your sparkling washer and cleaner dishes!



Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Freezing Grapes

Sometimes there are good deals, and sometimes there are GREAT deals. 
This week ( June 18-22) Red Seedless Grapes: 

This deal is going on at Rancho Markets ( located in several locations across the Salt Lake Valley).  Instead of driving on down to Rancho, I stopped at my local Walmart and price matched them. Since the deal was so good, I bought several bunches of grapes. 
They were priced at 1.98 per lb at Walmart so I saved 75% on grapes today!!!! 
When prices are this good, I always buy a little more than I normally would. But I don't want my produce to go bad. 

Did you know you can freeze grapes? 
Yep, you can. 

1. Wash grapes
2. Dry grapes and pick off vine.
3. After they are completely dry lay them flat on a cookie sheet and place into freezer. This is so they freeze individually and don't clump together
4. Once completely frozen, transfer to a ziploc freezer bag.
5. Grapes should keep for 2-3 months. ( If you can make them last that long!)

Learning to freeze food is one of the best ways that you can save money. 
Plus with all this hot summer weather, a handful of frozen grapes sounds like the perfect healthy, refreshing treat that I need! 

Hope you enjoy! 

Monday, June 17, 2013

Slow Cooker Chicken Philly Sandwiches

There is nothing I love better than an easy to throw together dinner. 
Especially one that is made from yummy fresh ingredients. 
So if you are looking for a quick, yummy, summer dinner 
then look no further! 

2-3 chicken breasts 
2 green peppers (sliced)
1 medium onion (sliced)
favorite seasoning ( I just used Lawry's) 
dash of onion powder 
provolone cheese 

Place butter in bottom of crock pot. Place sliced onions then 1 sliced bell pepper. 
Layer chicken on top. Sprinkle with seasonings. 
Cook on low for 4-5 hours or high 2-3 
When done cooking shred chicken and serve on buns and top with Provolone cheese ( and since I like a little added crunch I will add the rest of the uncooked green pepper on top)

recipe  adapted from  Food Family Finds 

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Deal this week!

0.19 each? Are you kidding me! This is an amazing deal and one of the very many reason why I love price matching so much.
There are some great deals going on this week and this is just one of them.
*Cucumbers 0.12 @ Rancho Market
*Fuji Apples 0.49 lb @ Rancho Market
*Red Seedless Grapes 1.29 lb @ Winegars
*Store Brand Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast (Fresh) 1.89lb @ Lees Market
*Nutella 13 oz 2.99 @ RiteAid.
These were just my favorite finds for the week.
To see where I get my price matching list click here if you live in Utah.
To see how much you should be spending click here.
If you are new to price matching and deal shopping click here to see tips and tricks to take the stress out of it.
Happy Shopping!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Menu Plan Monday 6/10-6/15

I'm a little late getting this up because I was a little late planning my weekly menu.
I usually have my menu planned by Thursday or Friday for the following week so that I can get my shopping done by Saturday.
For whatever reason, last week totally got away from me and I am just now planning my menu!
Better late than never!

Monday: Salsa Chicken
Tuesday- Orange Chicken/Fried Rice
Wednesday- Bubble Up Pizza
Thursday- Sloppy Joes
Friday- Crock Pot Chicken Philly Sandwiches
Saturday- Date night

Here's to hoping that everyone has a fabulous week and don't forget to head over to OrgJunkie to check out other awesome menu's from today's link-up!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

BBQ Chicken Pizza

Confession. This recipe comes from the minds of my little sister and a group of 14-15 year olds.
Another confession. It's freaking yummy!
It came about from a young men/young women's activity.  They were split into groups and given a few food items and had to come up with a dinner. This pizza was the runner up that night.

BBQ Chicken Pizza
Pizza crust. ( For this one, I'm lazy and use store bought crust. If you have a crust recipe you love, by all means use it!)
1/4 cup bbq sauce
1/4 cup pasta sauce
2-3 chicken breast, cooked and cubed
green pepper
red onion
mozzarella cheese

In a skillet cook and cube chicken. Set aside.
Combine bbq sauce and pasta sauce together. ( if you like it more tangy add a bit more bbq sauce).
Roll out pizza dough. Pre-bake if needed.
Cover dough in pizza sauce, chicken, cheese and other toppings.
Bake in oven according to crust directions. ( Usually about 8-10 minutes)
Seriously simple and seriously tasty. Just the way I like it! This makes a great weekend night meal to be followed by a family night movie :)

$$$ Grocery Budget $$$

Last week I had the pleasure of welcoming another friend into my home to teach them a little about how I menu plan and how I do my grocery shopping. I absolutely love sharing my knowledge with others and told her as she left to get back to me with any questions she might have.
Not ten minutes later she called me and asked,
"How much should I be spending
 on my groceries anyway?"
This is such a good question, and one that I am so glad she asked. I think the vast majority of us just go to the grocery store and buy what we need to. We think of groceries as a necessity and therefore is just a cost we must pay.
Saving money at the grocery store will only come if you have a number in mind ( aka budget) and stick to it!
So what should that number be? I've done a bit of research on the topic and while everyone's situation is different I found a good guideline by which to go by.
$100/per person/per month
For example, a family of 4 would have a grocery budget of $400 per month or $100 a week. Now if that number freaks some of you out, I promise you are not alone. If your grocery budget is way over this, think of ways that you can slowly get it down. Try decreasing your grocery budget monthly or weekly by 5%.
The key here is to make this a slow/gradual change. We don't want to treat this like a crash diet that will fail in a few weeks. We want to make a lifestyle change.
$100 a month per person is totally doable, but it will and does take work.
*Make sure you are menu planning. This saves you time and money!
*Don't be a brand snob. Try the store brand. It is always cheaper and just as good. When your favorite brand does go on sale or has a coupon stock up so that you don't have to pay full price.
*Shop the deals and/or price match at Walmart. Most store ad's are found online and are updated weekly. You can also look for sights that have gone through the ad's already. Use google. It is your friend!
*Stock up when things are on sale. Recently chicken was 1.59/lb.  I stocked up and now I have enough to last me until the next time it goes on sale. The trick is to never pay full price for anything!
*Learn what foods you can freeze. This is helpful for when you are stocking up on produce and can't use it before it goes bad.
*Double your recipes.  Last week I made BBQ chicken sandwiches. I doubled the recipe, are half and tossed the other half into the freezer for a meal down the road.
*Leave the kiddos home. How many times have you been at the store and your toddler starts having a meltdown. You grab a box of fruit snacks off the shelf open one and fill the kid's mouth with them to keep them quiet? ( please say this isn't just me!) That costs you money right there! Buying something not on your list. It also will save you time not to take them along since you don't have to act as entertainer, discipliner, and mommy. You can just be a savvy shopper!
*STICK TO YOUR LIST! I've said it before, and I will probably say it 100 times more. Never go shopping without your list, and never buy anything not on your list. Every.Single.Time. I have strayed from my list I have gone over budget. Every. Time. Your list is there to help you, keep you organized and accountable.
I hope these suggestions and guidelines help. Getting your grocery bill down is so rewarding and it's so much more fun to spend (or save) that extra money on fun things instead of just food!



Friday, June 7, 2013

BBQ Chicken Sandwiches (Crock Pot)

This blog has been consolidated with my "other" blog in an effort to simplify, streamline, and make my life easier.
You can find the recipe at Life as Mrs. Larson by clicking the link here.
Sorry for the inconvenience!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

My 10 tips for Organized Shopping and Price Matching

If you're like me, you want to save some money on your groceries, but you hate couponing. For me couponing took a lot of time and energy.  They were usually for items I didn't use or need and I often forgot to take them along. When I did take them I would often come home only saving a few cents. Since my goal wasn't to stock pile a garage full of toothbrushes ( who needs that many toothbrushes anyway?) I soon gave up on couponing.
Determined to find a way to save and lower my grocery bill I learned to Shop the Deals and to Price Match.

Shopping the Deals is simply to look through the ad's to find the sales and best deals of the week at multiple stores in your area. This can be a great way to get the very best price for your groceries.
But wait! You don't want to spend all day and drive all around town just to save a few bucks? What if I told you that you don't have to!?!
This my friends is where the wonderful world of Price Matching comes in.

Price Matching is available at Wal-Mart. Their policy states that if you find the same item for a lower price, they will match it at the register with no ad needed!

Price Matching has saved me anywhere from 30%-50% on my groceries. I've been at this for a while now and had to learn the ins and outs. I got discouraged at times but I have now perfected my system.  It's easy, organized, efficient, and dare I say FUN?!
Let me share with you a few tips and tricks to get you price matching and saving your family some money!

1. Look through the ad's.  Most stores have their ad's online. Store ad's run through different days.
Don't have time to look through all the ad's? Try ( Local to Utah only. If you are out of state, just try googling price matching lists and you can usually find something!)
Rachel is super duper awesome and has all the deals ready for you on her website!
Her site has been a lifesaver/timesaver for me so be sure to stop over there to take advantage of her awesome service. Just be sure to leave a comment that I sent you!

2. Plan your meals. You can do this before or after looking through the ad's. I do a little of both. When I was first starting out it was easier for me to plan my meals and then search the ad's to see if what I needed was on sale. Now that I am in more of a flow I am able to plan my meals around the deals.

3. NEVER, EVER, shop without a list.  If you do, I promise you will spend more time and more money at the store. I shop with my grocery list and price match list.
On my grocery list I have a little * by the items that I will price match. I also write down the original price of an item so that I can calculate my savings once I get home.
4. No Kids. At least for your first few price matching trips. If this means you have to shop at 10:30 p.m. then that is when you should shop. Leaving the kids at home will help you to concentrate, get you through the store faster, no tantrums, and as an added bonus a little break for you!
5. Shop Organized.  As you can see in the list above that I categorize my grocery list. That way I can get through the store quickly and not miss anything and have to go back. I start my trip in the produce section and work my way back around the perimeter of the store. Produce > Meat> Cheese>Diary> Frozen> back down through the aisles ending with the bread section so that it doesn't get smashed flat.
6. Use stickers, post it's, or labels. I take along a sheet of labels with me. When I come to an item that I am going to price match I simply write the price and the store that the price was found at. I stick it on my item. This saves so much time at the register and your cashier will love you. I promise, they have told me!  
7. Match store brand to store brand. If Western Family is on sale then you would buy the Great Value brand at Walmart. Make Sense?
8. Make sure your ounces/lbs match up.  When price matching it must be an identical item. So make sure that if the 18oz of peanut butter is on sale that you get the 18 oz and not the 32 oz.
9. Be courteous and friendly.  First thing when I start loading my groceries on the belt is let the cashier know that I am going to be price matching some items. I try to put items that I am not matching up first and leave all the matching to the end. Also good so that I can watch and make sure prices are being entered correctly.
Let those who get in line behind you know that you are price matching. That way if they don't want to wait they can choose another line. ( I've even been known to let those behind me know that they can get lower prices on some of their items that I see in their cart!)
10. Be confident and don't get discouraged/overwhelmed. Be confident when you are at the register, and review the policy before you go so you don't run into any trouble. ( as a side note, I have never had any trouble, but it never hurts to be prepared!)
Don't get overwhelmed. This took me many months to get to a comfortable level of price matching and organized shopping. Maybe start slow. Instead of trying to price match your whole trip, just try a few items. Give yourself time to learn.
If you need to, ask for help! I've already gone on two personal shopping trips in the past month to help others learn the ropes of price matching and organized shopping.
If there is one thing that makes me happy like saving money's helping others save money! Don't hesitate to ask for help!
I hope these tips and tricks help you out. Now get out there and start saving your family some money!
If you have any questions, need something clarified, or have tips of your own please leave a comment!
Linking up today with ABowlFullOfLemons

Monday, June 3, 2013

Menu Plan Monday 6/3 edition

Yay for the start of another week! I know most people usually don't like Monday's but I do! It's the chance to start over, have a clean slate, and try to be better this week.
I've got a bunch of things and house/yard projects to get going on so I'm excited for the new week.
Of course to simplify my tasks and not stress and worry about dinner and the dreaded panic that comes along when you look at the clock and realize is already 5:00 I love to MENU PLAN!
Menu planning really is such a life saver for me, if you are not already doing it.......YOU SHOULD! I promise it will change your life.

Here's on my menu for the week.

Monday: Beef Tacos
Tuesday: Crock Pot Italian Chicken over Egg Noodles
Wednesday: BBQ chicken sandwiches with Potato Salad
Thursday: Crock Pot Salsa Chicken with Rice
Friday: BBQ Chicken Pizza
Saturday: Date Night.

Breakfast and lunch ideas for the week are:
Green Smoothies

PB and J
Turkey wraps
Chicken/Strawberry Salad
Mini Biscuit Pizzas

Hope you all have a great week and enjoy the start of summer! Today I'm linking up with OrgJunkie again for Menu Plan Monday.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Baked Chimichangas

I don't know about you, but here in my kitchen we love ourselves some Mexican food. This past Saturday I decided to try out a new recipe that I had pinned a while ago on Pinterest ( you can find the original site here ).
Let's just say that it did not disappoint and will be going into our regular rotation for meals.
The best part is that Chimi's are usually fried in oil, but these little babies are baked.
It was made even more exciting by the fact that earlier in the day we were able to score a free patio dining set from my grandparents.  It needs a little TLC and some touch up paint for rust spots, but it's perfect and was free!
We got to sit outside and enjoy the summer weather and a delicious dinner as a family. It was absolute perfection.
Here is the recipe for Baked Chimichangas:
1 8oz package of cream cheese
1 cup shredded cheese ( I used Mexican blend.)
1 1/2 TBSP taco seasoning
3-4 chicken breasts cooked and shredded
8 tortillas
cooking spray
garnishes ( green onions, salsa, sour cream, guac, ect....)
Mix together {softened} cream cheese, shredded cheese and taco seasoning.
Fold in shredded chicken
Divide into tortillas and fold up edges
Place in sprayed cooking dish ( I used a 9x13) seam down
spray top of tortillas with cooking spray or brush with butter.
Cook at 350* for 15 minutes
Turn over and cook another 15 minutes.
Serve hot with topping of your choice. ( I thought they were delicious with salsa, cheese, green onions, and a side of guac.)