Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Tuesday Bargains

It seems like I've been getting a good deal on marked down ground beef for a few weeks in a row now. I try not to pass it up, especially for 99-cents pound like I found again today. What tends to happen is that I'll catch the mark-downs for a few weeks in a row and then find nothing for a couple of months or more. That's why having a big freezer in the garage is so handy. I bought about 9 1/2 pounds this morning. I froze five 1-pound bags of it. With the rest I made a 2-pound meatloaf and cooked two pounds of taco meat for the tacos we'll be having later this week. We actually already have a meatloaf in the fridge that I made on Sunday but my husband was disappointed that it seemed to be going so quickly.

At Food Town I got a 12-pack of Fiora toilet paper that was on sale for $3.44. They had a store coupon for $1.00 off if you spent at least $10.00 so I got it for only $2.44. I really like that brand and it's on sale quite often. They also had jars of Duke's mayonnaise on sale for $1.99 and I got 40 cents off with a coupon. They still had the fajita marinade on sale for 99-cents so I bought one more bottle. I got one free item: a 10-ounce bottle of Kikkoman soy sauce. It was on sale for 50-cents a bottle (it's normally at least $1.59 at Kroger) and I had a coupon for 55-cents off.

At HEB, they still had their pork rinds buy two bags/get one bag free deal so I got three bags for $3.00 total. Today was the last day for that coupon. It wasn't on sale, but I bought a quart of heavy cream for $3.56, which is the same as Walmart charges. Lastly, I got a tube of Lip Smacker lip balm from the clearance bin for 75-cents. It was even the Dr Pepper flavor that I normally buy. The package had been opened so they taped it up and marked it down just for me to come along and snatch it up.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Taco Pie Update

Taco Pie
The other day I decided to give my Taco Pie recipe another try using some green chile salsa that I got marked down a couple of weeks ago. I wasn't all that excited about the recipe the first time I made it but this one came out very good. Last time I had a problem with the pie falling apart but I think that the American cheese was the culprit. I used Monterey Jack this time and it held together just fine. The green chile salsa gave it a very nice flavor. It also helped that I made sure to season the meat very well this time.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Tuesday Bargains

I only got a few good deals yesterday. I was planning to make burgers for dinner using some raw patties that I had in the freezer. However, Food Town had some packages of ground beef marked down to $1.29 pound so I decided to get a couple packages and make fresh burgers instead. I ended up with about 7 pounds of meat and I made all of it into patties then cooked them in my NuWave oven. I kept some of the cooked burgers in the fridge for us to eat over the next few days and froze the rest for another time. For dinner last night I had a very tasty burger topped with a slice of onion, a slice of tomato, mayo, mustard, dill pickle relish and my homemade ketchup. The tomatoes weren't on sale yesterday but the onions were only 39-cents per pound.

Food Town also had the fajita marinade that I use on sale for only 99-cents per bottle so I bought two of them. It's called Figaro Fabulosa Quick Fajitas Marinade. It's normally around $1.79 in most stores around here. The marinade has smoke flavoring in it so I get a grilled flavor in my chicken whether I cook it outside on the gas grill or inside on my counter top grill.

I got one other good deal at HEB. They had a coupon for a free bag of their store brand pork rinds if you bought two for $1.50 each.

I should mention that Tuesday is the last day of any sales that I get at Food Town or HEB. The new ads come out on Wednesday here. If I can remember to do so, I'll post the current sales for those stores in my Thursday posts. Of course only those who live in the Houston area will benefit from this info since they're local grocery chains.

Today I'll be roasting the whole chicken that I bought at Kroger for 49-cents per pound a couple weeks ago and I'm going to make stuffing for the guys using the marked down stuffing cubes that I got from the clearance bin for only 69-cents. I've decided to make the whole bag of the stuffing (it's a 1-pound bag) and freeze the extra cooked stuffing. Otherwise, the rest of the stuffing cubes in the open bag would just get stale before I'd have another chance to use them.

Monday, August 19, 2013

CARBmaster Blueberry Muffin Yogurt

I'm trying it as I type this and I'm not quite sure what I think of it. The first thing that hit me was the taste of some kind of spice along with the blueberry flavor but I'm not sure which one. Nutmeg perhaps? I don't know if it actually tastes like a muffin but there is something going on that makes it taste different than regular blueberry yogurt. It's not bad but I'm not sure if I'll buy it again. 

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Salvaging Dinner

My plan for today was to make Chicken Lazone, which I've been wanting to make again ever since the first time I tried that recipe. I had a pound of fresh mushrooms to use up so I was going to cook them separately and add them to the Chicken Lazone at the end. To save on clean-up, I sautéed the mushrooms ahead of time in the same pan that I was planning to cook the chicken in. Meanwhile, I also cooked some rice for the guys and some green beans. All that was left to do was to make the Chicken Lazone.

Imagine my horror when I opened the package of chicken tenders and discovered that they were spoiled. I never eat chicken that smells "off" so into the trash it went, all three pounds of it. My first reaction was panic because I had no idea what I was going to serve for dinner with the rice, mushrooms and green beans. Then I remembered that we still had some leftover pork roast in the fridge. So, I cut the pork into cubes and added them to the sautéed mushrooms in the pan. Since I'd already seasoned the mushrooms with the same seasoning I was going to use on the chicken, I added some more of the seasoning blend to the meat. There was quite a lot of fat on the pork so I didn't add any butter but I did add a splash of heavy cream at the end to make a sauce. Dinner was saved!

Those are Trader Joe's frozen French green beans on my plate.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Thursday Shopping Bargains

Just a short post today because I didn't buy much. Kroger still has cheese for $1.88 for 8 ounces so I bought a few packages and I got another 24-ounce container of cottage cheese for $1.99. This week they've got a great price on bone-in chicken thighs for 79-cents per pound. They're the large family-size packages with 10 pieces. Lastly, I bought a container of the new CARBmaster flavor, Blueberry Muffin, to try. I've always wondered why they didn't have it in blueberry. I'll report back once I've tried it. They didn't have any of the new Pumpkin Pie flavor but that doesn't appeal to me anyway.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Tuesday Bargains

Today I did something a little out of the ordinary. I did go to my two usual grocery stores, Food Town and HEB, but I didn't buy much there. You see, I planned to go to a local charity shop called Treasures of the Heart and I didn't want to have any perishable food sitting in my car for hours. I did bring a cooler and some "blue ice" to keep my produce chilled.
As far as food bargains go, I got a good price on celery (68-cents) and mushrooms were only 88-cents per 8 ounce package. I bought two of those but I don't know yet what I will do with them. I plan to make Unpotato Salad tomorrow to go with a pork roast so I needed to buy a cauliflower, celery and a red onion. I had to pay full price for the cauliflower ($2.99) but the red onions were on sale for 69-cents per pound. They also had yellow onions on sale for 39-cents per pound so I stocked up on a few of those.

That's the extent of my food shopping for today. But, my bargain clothes shopping more than made up for it. I hate shopping for clothes and I especially hate shopping at malls. If I buy any clothing for myself, I either buy it all in one big all-day shopping trip about once every year or two, or I just pick up an item or two now and then while I'm grocery shopping at Walmart. I recently discovered Treasures of the Heart. It's a lot like shopping at a place like TJ Maxx or Ross where there are just rows and rows of racks of all kinds of things jammed together. But, nothing there costs more than about $5.00 each, at least for women's clothing. Everything is color coded, which indicates how long an item has been hanging on the rack. So, you might get another 25%, 50% or even 75% off of the basic $4.00-5.00 price depending on the color of the tag. This was only my second time shopping there. The first time I went, a few months ago, I spent about $20 and got a pair of shorts, a wool suit (skirt and jacket) and three tops. Well, this time I made out like a bandit! I did so well that I had to share it with everyone here on my blog. I spent just under $46.00 and bought:

  • 2 pairs of jeans (one blue and one black denim)
  • 1 skirt
  • 1 nightie
  • 9 tops
I noticed that one top came from Ann Taylor and at least two were from Chico's yet the most I paid for any one item was $5.00! Here's the price breakdown:
  • $5.00 x 1
  • $4.00 x 6
  • $3.00 x 3
  • $2.50 x 1
  • $1.50 x 1
  • $.75 x 1
How's that for bargain shopping? Here's a photo of my new wardrobe:

I fell in love with the skirt and was so pleased to find that it fit me. My two favorite tops are the red one and the very colorful one. You can't tell in the photo but the red one has tiny spots of gold glitter on it. I don't usually go for sparkly things but that top is sparkly in a cute fun way. I think that three of the tops will probably go pretty well with that skirt which has a little bit of a rusty colored pattern on it. I think those two salmon colored tops might go fairly well with it and I know for sure that the cream colored one will. 

I'm exhausted from trying on all of those clothes, plus the 50 or so other items that didn't fit me, so I think I'll have some lunch now and just relax this afternoon.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Thursday Shopping Bargains

I spent quite a bit more than usual this morning because Kroger had so many super sales that I couldn't pass up. Below is a list of everything that I bought today at Walmart and Kroger. When I buy craft supplies and clothing, etc. at Walmart, that comes out of my grocery budget so I've included those things in the list. I'm kind of regretting that I bought that pork roast on Tuesday at Food Town and paid $1.29 pound for it. Kroger has them on sale this week for only 79-cents per pound!
  • Clear Passage nasal strips - $6.67
  • 2 bottles black acrylic paint (.57 each) - $1.14 *
  • 1 package assorted jump rings - $2.00 *
  • Snapware storage container ($6.97) - $4.97 after $2.00 coupon *
  • Clean Shower - $1.97
  • Frozen ravioli - $2.72 (for the guys)
* The paint is for a craft project that I'm working on for Christmas. The jump rings are for a beading project and the Snapware container is also for my beading.


  • 24 ounce Kroger cottage cheese (1.99 on sale) after 40-cent coupon and senior discount - $1.39
  • 2 bottles Kroger OJ (2.50 on sale) after 75-cent coupon and senior discount - $3.75 for both
  • 18 ounce Kroger peanut butter - FREE with coupon
  • 8 ounce Kroger sour cream - after 40-cent coupon and senior discount - $.49
  • 3-pack Brita filters (they're $14.88 at Walmart) - after $2.50 coupon - $13.19
  • Community coffee ($3.50 on sale) - $3.50
  • 8 ounce Kroger cheese (on sale for $1.88 x 10) - after 50-cent and 75-cent coupons and senior discount - $15.50 ($1.57 each)
  • Kroger parmesan cheese - after senior discount - $2.36
  • 10 ounce Kroger frozen spinach - after senior discount - $.76
  • 2 Kroger Deluxe ice cream (for the guys) - after senior discount - $4.50 for both (not in the photo)
  • 2 Boston butt roasts (.79 pound on sale) - after $1.50 meat coupon - $9.17 for both

GRAND TOTAL - $76.62

If I had paid full price for those two pork roasts, they would have cost $33.61! The regular price for everything that I bought today would have been about $129.00 so I saved $52.00. 

When I got home from shopping, I prepped the ingredients to make chicken fajitas. I was going to grill the chicken, peppers and onions outside on the grill but decided that it was just too darn hot to stand outside cooking. So, I stir-fried the peppers and onions in my wok and cooked the chicken in my countertop grill. I also made a batch of Cilantro Pepita Sauce to put on the fajitas.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Tuesday Bargains

I went to Food Town, HEB and Aldi this morning and left early to beat the heat. It's supposed to hit 100 degrees today. It's hard to believe that I've already been to Aldi at least four times now. Didn't I say something a few posts back about only going there occasionally??? Silly me. I think I've found a slightly quicker way to get there, or at least it doesn't seem to take as long. I cut through our subdivision and go out the back way which cuts off at least a mile and eliminates several traffic lights.
Once again, I got some nice deals at all three stores, but not so many at Aldi today. I got a dozen eggs there and those are always 89-cents. I needed green peppers for fajitas this week but they weren't so cheap at Aldi this time. I was stuck though and had to buy them there at three for $1.69. I guess that's not so bad at 56-cents each. I really could have used more than three peppers but I didn't really need six this time so I'll make do. I bought some of their pork rinds and they're not as salty as they seemed the first time I bought them. HEB was out of the plain ones so I to buy Aldi's or do without. I do like that Aldi's pork rinds tend to be smaller pieces than other brands.

The only good deal at HEB today was on salsa. Near the checkout, they had two shopping carts filled to the brim with all different brands and types of salsa marked down to either $1.00 or $1.50. I picked out four jars of the dollar ones. I usually buy the hot variety but there were only mild and medium ones in the cheaper jars. I did make sure that none of them had added sugar but I did see some unusual salsas that had raspberries or pineapple in them. Obviously I avoided those but they were intriguing.
Here's what I bought at Food Town:
  • 4 8-ounce cans of tomato sauce at 4/$1.00
  • White onions - .39 pound
  • 1 bunch cilantro - 50-cents
  • Boston butt roast - $1.29 pound
  • Boneless chicken breasts - $1.99 pound
  • 2 huge prime rib steaks marked down to $2.99 pound

I've never had prime rib steaks before so hopeful they'll be good. They look a lot like rib-eye steaks but with a bone. The chicken breasts are huge at nearly 3/4 pound each. I usually wait until I see Boston butt roasts for 99-cents per pound but $1.29 wasn't bad. They did have some ground beef marked down to 99-cents per pound but I've got a nice stash of it in my freezer and I really wanted to buy those steaks. Plus, the hamburger looked very brown like it had been sitting around too long.  Since this blog is called "In the Kitchen with Linda", would anyone be interested in seeing photos of my kitchen? It's very tiny but I'm happy with it. In spite of the small size, I've got plenty of counter and storage space.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Kroger Coupons

It's almost like Christmas when the packet of coupons from Kroger comes in the mail. Most of the time they send coupons for products that they know I buy and there's often a coupon for something free. There are some nice ones this time:
  • 40-cents off any size Kroger sour cream
  • 40-cents off Kroger cottage cheese
  • 70-cents off two 8-ounce packages Kroger cheese
  • $1.50 off Brita filters
  • FREE 16-18 ounce jar of Kroger peanut butter
  • 99-cents off Aquafresh toothpaste
  • 50-cents off a $2.00+ Dairy Department purchase
  • $2.00 off Revlon cosmetics
  • $1.50 off a $7.00+ meat department purchase
  • $1.50 off two 12-packs Diet Pepsi
They have Pepsi on sale this week 3/$9.00 so, with the coupon, they will only be $2.50 each. I'll watch for sales on the other items in the coming weeks to get the most out of the coupons. I can get some super deals on the Kroger brand items if they go on sale and I use the coupon and then also get my 10% senior discount on top of that.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Pastrami Sandwich

Today's Breakfast

Favorite Recipe: Atkins Meatloaf

I just put a meatloaf in the oven. Although I've never been a big fan of meatloaf, high or low carb, my husband is. I do eat it, but it's not one of MY favorite foods. However, this is the meatloaf recipe that I use all the time. I rarely make it the same way twice though. I never bother putting in the dried cilantro and I change the seasonings quite often too. This time I put in some low carb BBQ sauce instead of the ketchup and used dried minced onion and garlic powder along with salt and pepper. I kept the cheese and eggs as stated in the recipe. I left off the topping this time too. I figure we can top it with either ketchup or BBQ sauce when we eat it.

Tomorrow I might caramelize some onions and make myself a Meatloaf "Patty Melt". I enjoy meatloaf a lot more when it's dressed up that way.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Thursday shopping bargains

The Sloppy Joe Stuffed Peppers were a hit with the whole family. My husband raved about them and my finicky son liked them too. In fact, when I made them a few weeks ago, my son said that the filling might be good stuffed inside jalapeño peppers as an appetizer. I think that they'd have to be a lot less saucy for that idea to work though. I guess I could call them Sloppy Poppers!

I managed to fit all of the sloppy joe filling into the twelve large pepper halves. That was three pounds of meat and two batches of the sauce. I put 8 ounces of cheese in the filling and another 8 ounces over the top.

Today was my other shopping day for the week. On Thursdays I usually go to Walmart and Kroger (Tuesday I go to Food Town and HEB). I didn't get any significant bargains at Walmart today other than a ream of printer paper for which I had a 50-cent off coupon.

Roasted and peeled Hatch chiles
Kroger had some nice deals this week though. They have whole chickens for 49-cents pound so I bought one. They have pints of fresh blueberries for only 99-cents so I bought two of those. When I got home, I made blueberry pancakes (not low carb) for the guys and froze one pint of the berries for another time. Kroger also has Hatch chiles right now and those were 68-cents per pound. I bought a few of those and roasted and peeled them when I got home. I froze them to use when I make Cilantro Pepita Sauce to go on fajitas which I plan to make next week. While I was in the baking aisle getting a bag of unsweetened coconut, I noticed that the Bacon Salt was $3.49. So, I think I did get a very good deal on it at HEB for $1.50 the other day.

I also dug through the clearance bin at Kroger and found a few goodies. I got a jar of ground coriander for $1.37. The label said the original price was over $7.00! That seems a bit steep but I do usually pay at least $3.50 for it. I also found a can of mushrooms for 59-cents. I'm all set for my Thanksgiving stuffing because they had 16-ounce bags of Kroger brand stuffing crumbs marked down to 69-cents (62-cents after my senior discount). I don't eat bread stuffing but my son and husband do and that's cheaper than any sale price they might have around Thanksgiving.