Aldi Weekly Deals and Meal Ideas

Aldi has some good prices on meat and produce this week. Their ad is pretty similar to Sprout’s this week, but Sprout’s actually beats some of the prices. However if you don’t want to go to two stores, you will still save money by shopping Aldi.

Here are my picks:
Chicken Drumsticks – .79/lb
Fresh Atlantic Salmon – $6.99/lb
Organic Grass Fed Family Pack Ground Beef – $4.49/lb
Hass Avocados –  .69 ea
McIntosh Apples – $1.99/ 3 lb bag
Blueberries – $2.49/ lb
Mangoes – .49 ea
Pineapple – $1.49 ea
Mandarins – $2.99/ 3lb bag
Appleton Farms Smoked Ham Butt Portion – $1.19/lb
Earthly Grains Quinoa Blends – $1.89/lb
Simply Nature Organic White Rice or Brown Rice – $2.99
Simply Nature Organic Broth – $1.49 
St. Louis Pork Spareribs – $1.99/lb
Meal Ideas: 
Easy Chicken Tortilla Soup

Stuffed Bell Peppers – Aldi usually has a 3 pack of the colored bell peppers in stock.

Quinoa Tacos

BBQ Ribs , Green Beans and Mashed Potatoes

Lemon Dill Salmon, Quinoa, Salad

Publix Weekly Deals and Meal Ideas

Publix has a HUGE ad this week! I was clicking through and kept wondering how many more pages there were. There are way more deals than I want to try to put into one post, so definitely check out their site or the app. They have a big Greenwise sale this week, so if you really like to buy organic this would be a good week to grab some of those items. 
There are some good meal items on sale and the BOGO’s are great as usual.
Here are my picks: 
Buy One Get Ones – 
Annie’s or Cascadian Farm Cereal
Progresso Broth
Betty Crocker Brownie Mix
Mt. Olive Pickles
Wholesome Organic Cane Sugar 
Starkist White Albacore Tuna in Water
Green Giant Vegetables
Hunt’s or Rotel Tomatoes
Muir Glen Tomatoes
Mueller’s Pasta 
Zatarain’s New Orleans Style Rice
Bertolli Sauce
Nabisco Honey Maid Grahams 
Cheez- It’s 
Orville Redenbacher’s Popcorn
Mama Lucia Meatballs
Red Baron Pizza
Green Giant Frozen Vegetables
New York Frozen Bread
Stonyfield Organic YoKids Yogurt
Arnold Country Bread
Nature’s Own Buns or Rolls
Simply Potatoes
Annie’s Bake and Share Dough
Earth Balance Spreads
Publix Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast
Publix Bacon
Ball Park Beef Franks
Pero Family Farms Organic Green Beans
Publix Fresh Okra
Publix Olive Oil – $7.99
Publix Flour – $1.99
Clearwater Bacon Wrapped Sea Scallops – $8.99
Greenwise Organic Cold Brew – $6.49
Baguette – $1.89
Greenwise Rotisserie Chicken – $7.99
Publix Slow Cooker Meal Kit – $14.99
Publix Pork Sausage Roll – $3.39
Publix Boneless Pork Loin Chops – $3.99/lb
Boneless Chuck Pot Roast – $3.99/lb
Greenwise Chicken Sausage – $5.49
Greenwise Whole Chicken – $2.49/lb
Ground Sirloin – $4.49/lb
Hillshire Farm Smoked Sausage – 3/$10
Asparagus – $2.99/lb
Broccoli or Cauliflower – 2/$5
Cilantro – .89 bunch
Greenwise Organic Baby Carrots – 2/$4
Publix Premium Salad Kit – 2/$5
Publix Red or Gold Potatoes – $3.49
Publix Sliced White Mushrooms – 2/$5
Tomatoes on the Vine – $1.49/lb
Nestle Coffee Mate Coffee Creamer – 2/$6
Collossal White Shrimp – $9.99
First I am listing some really easy meals to make from this list! Then, I have a few that require a little more work, but are so worth the effort! 
Grab some Zatarain’s Red Beans and Rice and Pair it with Smoked Sausage- Slice it and cook it in a skillet.  For a vegetable you could try roasting Cauliflower (Oven to 400. Cut Cauliflower into florets. Drizzle with Olive Oil, Salt and Pepper. Stir to cover. Bake for about 15 – 20 min.) This is the only way my 6 year old eats cauliflower. It took a little convincing to get her to try it, but she really like it!
Baked Chicken Alfredo – or grab the Spaghetti Sauce, Spaghetti and Ground Beef and make a Baked Spaghetti. Pair it with a salad or Garlic Toast.
Make a Crock Pot Pot Roast – 


1 bag baby carrots
1 bag red potatoes
1 sweet onion
1 pot roast
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1/2 cup beef broth
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp 21 season mix (if you have, if not you should find some!)

Cut onion in fourths and put in the bottom of crock pot. Pour Carrot bag in. Cut potatoes in half or fourths depending on how large they are. Add to crock pot. Sprinkle Half the Seasonings on the Veggies and stir to mix. Add the pot roast to the crock pot and pour in the broth. Then sprinkle the rest of the seasonings on the roast and rub in. Turn the crock pot on it’s lowest setting and cook all day.

There are hot dogs and buns on sale this week, so make that a busy night meal. Grab some chili and make chili dogs. 
Sausage and Egg Muffins – Pair these with hashbrowns, fruit, bacon, asparagus etc. 

Sauteed Shrimp with Salad and Asparagus
Lasagna – (make two and freeze one)
What other easy meals can you make out of this list? I would love to see your comments here or on the Facebook page! 

Easy and Delicious Sausage and Egg Muffins

So what can you do with those eggs that you got on sale this week? Here is one of my tried and true recipes!

I found this recipe a long time ago and modified it to fit my family.

It has always been a big hit in my house and my son (with Autism who is extremely picky) has been known to eat them from time to time. I usually make these for dinner, but you could also make them if you are having a brunch. Or freeze them. Or have them for lunch!

 

Sausage and Egg Muffins
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Yield: 5

Ingredients

  • 1lb Breakfast Sausage
  • 1 cup brocolli florets
  • 8 eggs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Italian Blend Shredded Cheese

Instructions

  1. Preheat Oven to 375.
  2. Brown the sausage.
  3. Add in the broccoli and cook for about 3-4 minutes.
  4. Wisk eggs, milk, oil, and baking powder in a mixing bowl.
  5. Spray a 12 cup [muffin tin|https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002CXKBKM/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=leslieslitt06-20&camp=1789&creative=9325&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B002CXKBKM&linkId=3cc3d021c488204648399e56fcd63785| with oil.
  6. Using an ice cream scoop (or another spoon) fill each muffin cup with the sausage mix.
  7. Then carefully pour the egg mix over each cup.
  8. *You will need less of the egg mixture than you think, so pour slowly! *
  9. Sprinkle cheese over each muffin.
  10. Bake for 13-15 minutes, depending on your oven.
https://leslieslittlecorner.com/sausage-and-egg-muffins/

Pair with Asparagus, Hashbrowns, Bacon, etc. Enjoy!

Need a new muffin tin to make your egg muffins? Evenwave 12 Cup Muffin Pan – $6.99 Shipped!

You can also try my Easy Fried Pork Chops and Eggs or Ham and Cheese Quiche !

 

Sprouts Weekly Deals and Meal Ideas

Welcome back to the “real world” after Thanksgiving last week. The stores are back on a regular schedule and I am back with the deals and meal ideas for the week! 
Sprouts doesn’t have a huge ad this week, however there are some good deals and they have their grass fed beef back on sale, so I would definitely stock up on that. 
Here are my picks:
Hass Avocados – 2/$1  – This is a great price on Avocados!
Mangoes – 2/$1
Honeycrisp Apples – .98/lb
Blackberries – .98 ea. !!!
Cuties – $2.88
Pineapple – $1.98 
Asparagus – $1.98/lb
Cauliflower – .98/lb
Beef for Stew – $4.99/lb
Grassfed Ground Beef – $3.99/lb (grab some extra and freeze or cook and freeze)
Boneless Pork Loin Chops – $2.99/lb
Sausage Chicken or Pork – $2.99/lb
Boneless Skinless Chicken Tenders or Thighs – $1.88/lb
EZ Peel Jumbo Raw Shrimp – $6.99/lb
Wild Ahi Tuna Steaks – $5.99/lb
Go Nuts Sale (Bulk Bins) – $5.99/lb
Honey and Nut Butter – 25% off
Sprouts Kettle Chips or Popcorn –  2/$3
Sprouts Organic Bone Broth or Broth Concentrate – $2.99 
Chobani Greek Yogurt – .88 ea.
Kerrygold Irish Butter – 2/$5
Red’s Entrees or Burritos – BOGO
Sprout’s Sandwich Bread – $2.99
Meal Ideas- 
With the broth and the meats that are on sale, it is a great week for soup! I have made this Pasta e Fagioli before and it was a hit with our girls. (Not so much with Caleb, but that is another story!)
You can get a mix of the veggies already chopped sometimes frozen or in the produce section. Also I use my Italian Seasoning instead of the combo of spices in the recipe. It just depends what you have on hand. 
Beef Stew – In the footnotes of this recipe she recommends using a slow cooker liner. I could not agree more!! 
Sauteed Shrimp with Asparagus
Easy Chicken Tortilla Soup – I have been using this recipe for about 15 years. It is always a hit!
Taco Tuesday- Grab some of the Grass Fed Beef and some Avocados and make Tacos! 
Quick Confession: I really, really love Ahi Tuna Tacos, but I am terrified of cooking the Tuna. So I am going to be brave this week and go buy the Tuna and share the results with you next week! So stay tuned for that!

Crockpot Refried Beans

When my husband and I started dating, I was introduced to “real” refried beans. My poor husband suffered through lots of cans of refried beans until I started cooking them in the Crock-Pot . No matter how hard I tried, I could not ever get my dried beans to cook. It was maddening. So when I found out that you could actually cook dried beans in the Crock-Pot , I was excited to give it a try. I wanted mine to taste as close to the way my mother in law’s tasted as possible.

So, I tried several things until I came up with a recipe that I liked. All you need is a Crock-Pot and a Potato Masher . Here is the final product:

 

Crockpot Refried Beans
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Crockpot Refried Beans

Ingredients

  • 1 lb bag Pinto Beans
  • 8 cups of water
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 2-3 slices American Cheese

Instructions

  1. Rinse and sort your beans.
  2. Do not worry about soaking your beans!! Pour them into the crockpot and cover with the water.
  3. Cook on low all day.(or about 6 -8 hrs).
  4. About 30 minutes before you are ready to start mashing them, you will add all the spices to give them time to give the beans a good flavor. (Don't put the spices in earlier, because you will wind up having to put more in later).
  5. After 30 minutes turn off the crock pot and put in the sliced cheese.
  6. Take a potato masher and mash the beans until there are almost no whole beans left.
https://leslieslittlecorner.com/crockpot-refried-beans/

 

These beans are so easy and so yummy! Use them for tacos, bean burritos or my Taco Cups which I will share with you later!

 

Why I Love Ordering Groceries

One thing that I have found to save myself  a lot of time, stress, and money is ordering groceries. Yes, there is a fee, but let me tell you why it is my new favorite way to shop.

I can look at my meal plan and see all the ingredients. I am able to search for what I need and add it to my cart right there as I check it off. Instead of dodging people at the store, and possibly having to backtrack because you missed something, it is all right there at the click of your mouse.

It keeps me from grabbing extra stuff! Have you ever gone shopping hungry? Or with your kids who ask for everything they see? Then you wind up with all of this stuff in your cart that was not on your list, and gone $40 over your budget! Which brings me to…

It’s easier to control my spending and stay within my budget. When I order groceries, I can see my total as I add items to my cart. You just can’t do that pushing a cart through the store. Trust me, I have tried walking through the store with my calculator app open. Yes, I have actually done that! When I can see my total, I can always delete something I don’t really need off of my list. Plus I wind up actually getting all of the things I need, when I can go through and adjust my items.

It is so much less hectic and stressful. Shopping from the couch. Enough said.

I feel more organized when I shop this way. Walking around a crowded store with a full buggy can feel very chaotic and overwhelming. This is so much better.

Lastly, you don’t have to take your kids to the grocery store. Look, I love my kids and they are actually pretty well behaved at the store. But it adds an extra level of stress with kids asking for things, or worse arguing with each other as you walk the aisles of the store. We have all been there. It is not fun.

Right now the two services that I use are Kroger’s Clicklist and Shipt. (Full Disclosure: I am an independent contractor for Shipt). The difference between the two are with Clicklist you order online and go pick up your groceries for a $4.95 fee. With Shipt, you have a membership and your groceries are delivered straight to your door.

Have you tried either of these? What do you like/dislike about them?

FYI: This post is for informational purposes only and I am not being compensated for anything I write in this post.

Meal Planning Tips and Tricks

My biggest pitfall when it comes to meal planning is forgetting to plan according to my schedule that week. I don’t know how many times I have had the best intentions and planned out all these great meals, done my shopping, stayed on budget, but then thrown half the stuff away because I didn’t have time to cook it.

On Friday, when I am throwing away bad chicken, and I am looking at the price on the package, I feel like a failure.

“Look how much money you wasted”, says the snarky voice in my brain. That snarky voice is my worst enemy and I wind up feeling defeated and frustrated at my inability to handle basic things like cooking.

So, I decided to stop planning to cook every night, and overwhelm myself with  tasks that are completely not feasible.

Here are my top tips for a successful week of meal planning:

1.Look over the next weeks schedule before you ever start meal planning or go grocery shopping.

What nights do you have therapy, gymnastics, ball games? How long will they last?

2.  Plan ahead for nights you can’t or won’t have time to cook.

Will you be home before 6? Crock pot meal. Will you be home before 7? No? Plan to eat out or bring dinner with you.

3. Budget money for eating out or plan something easy to take along.

During middle school soccer, I ran home before the game and made two frozen pizzas. I cut them up and put them in foil pans. I packed paper plates and napkins. We ate pizza while we watched the soccer game and threw away the trash as we left the game. All I took home was a little leftover pizza.

Grab some pizza at a quick place like Little Caesar’s, or on your way home go to a kids eat free place like O’Charley’s.

 

4. If you will be home before 7, prep a crock pot meal the night before (or wake up a little early) and turn it on before you leave the house.

5. Make your busiest evening a leftovers night or make Friday night a leftovers night.

We all know how done we are on Friday, and that makes it the perfect night to designate as a leftovers night. The kids can choose something they really liked that week and all you have to do it put it in the microwave.

6. Prep your ingredients ahead of time.

If you are cooking a couple of meals that use ground beef, cook it all on Sunday afternoon and either freeze it or refrigerate it. Chop your vegetables and put them in plastic containers. Make two of one meal and freeze one to eat next week or the week after. Assemble your meal ahead of time and put it in the fridge. You can pull it out when you get home and it’s ready to bake.

7. Do yourself a favor and buy some paper plates. I recycle. I know it is kind of wasteful, but it saves so much time in dishwashing. Or you could make it a habit to clean the kitchen as a family after dinner. Many hands make light work!

Planning out your weeks meals according to your schedule can alleviate overspending and take the stress out of your week.

Don’t start your meal planning until you have checked your calendar. Plan some easy, no hassle meals like my One Pan Enchilada Casseroleor my  Overloaded Baked Potatoes. It is also fine to eat out during the week. Just plan it and budget for that, so you don’t have to feel guilty.

What are some meal planning ideas that you are already using that work for your family?

 

Easy and Kid Friendly Lasagna

My kids really love all things spaghetti, pizza, and lasagna. I don’t make Lasagna often, because it can be time consuming. And I am mostly tired by the time it is time to cook. However, this is a pretty easy recipe that can be made ahead of time and doubled, with one of the two being frozen.

It’s great because the kids don’t complain, and they always come back for seconds. 
I only use Bertolli Organic Sauce, because it is my personal favorite. I don’t really like sweet spaghetti sauces, I like mine a little salty and with garlic. This is the best one I have found. 
As far as the noodles, you can use oven ready if you want to make a really quick and easy Lasagna. However, I don’t reccomend making this in advance or freezing it, because it is just not good. 
I found this out the hard way when I tried a new rustic cut sauce and the oven ready noodles. I froze it and baked it to make my life easier. The sauce was terrible (rustic cut means chunks of carrots in your sauce, um no.) and the noodles were just soggy. So.. lesson learned. 
If you are freezing USE THE REGULAR LASAGNA NOODLES!! Just follow the directions on the box. After you drain the noodles rinse with cold water to keep them from sticking together. I pat mine dry with a paper towel as I layer. 
Layer a 13 x 9 pan with the noodles.

Then put your sauce and ground beef on.

Next, dollop on your cottage cheese/egg mixture. No need to try to spread it. It all works out while it is baking.
Finally, sprinkle a little cheese on that layer. Repeat. 
When you have about 4 – 5 layers or the pan is full, then put on a thick layer of cheese to top. 
Now, cover with foil and bake!
Easy Lasagna
1 jar Bertolli Organic Olive Oil, Basil, and Garlic Spaghetti Sauce
1 box lasagna noodles
1 16 oz cottage cheese
1 egg
1 bag Italian Blend Cheese
1 lb cooked ground beef
Preheat oven to 350. Prepare noodles according to box. Mix the egg into the cottage cheese. (I do it in the cottage cheese container to minimize dirty dishes) Layer noodles, sauce, meat, cottage cheese mix and cheese. Repeat until pan is full. Put a thick layer of Italian chees on top. Cover with foil. Bake for 30 minutes.
Serve with salad and garlic bread.
Enjoy!

Thanksgiving Recipes

I am compiling different Turkey and Sides Recipes for Thanksgiving here. What are your favorite sides? Mine are Green Bean Casserole and Pineapple Casserole!

Turkey Recipes:

Roasted Thanksgiving Turkey

Roasted Butter Herb Turkey

Deep Fried Turkey

Juicy Thanksgiving Turkey

Side Dishes:

Green Bean Casserole

Pineapple Casserole 

Cornbread Dressing

Old Fashioned Stuffing

Sweet Potato Casserole – I’m going to say skip the coconut, but that’s just me!

Corn Bread Pudding

Bacon Balsamic Brussels Sprouts – one of my favorites!

Desserts:

Pumpkin Pie

Pecan Pie

Deep Dish Apple Pie

Pumpkin Roll