Friday, May 31, 2013

Beef Bolognese Sauce


Beef Bolognese Sauce
Yield: Serves 8-10

Ingredients:

3lbs of ground beef
5 medium onions, diced
1 1/2 cups of chopped baby carrots or one whole carrot diced
4 stalks of celery, diced
2 15 oz cans diced tomatoes
1 15oz can of tomato sauce
2 jars of tomato sauce or 6 cups of homemade sauce
3 tablespoons of Italian seasoning
1 head of garlic (about 8-10 cloves), minced
1/3 cup of olive oil
1/2 cup fresh basil
Salt
Pepper



Directions:

1. Prep all of your vegetables, dice and mince when needed and set aside.
2. Turn your large saucepan on medium heat, coat with oil, and add you beef.
3. Sprinkle your salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, and garlic on your beef and brown for 5-10 min.
4. Turn your slow cooker on LOW for 8 hours, add the contents of your saucepan to the basin of you slow cooker.  You can also cook this overnight. The longer you cook it for the more flavors marinate together.
5. Add your canned tomatoes, sauce, all your vegetables, and seasonings. Mix well and cover.
6. Serve immediately or cool and freeze in containers! Enjoy!

I make this huge batch every couple of months and freeze in containers for easy dinners. This flavorful and hearty sauce makes for a filling dinner and sneaking in the veggies makes me extra happy as I watch my kids gobble it up!



Thursday, May 30, 2013

Rotisserie Chicken Fajitas



Rotisserie Chicken Fajitas  
Yield: Serves 6

Ingredients:

1/2 a Rotisserie chicken, de-boned and skinned
1 green bell pepper
1 jalapeno
1 onion
1/2 a cup of fresh cilantro
1 packet of taco seasoning
1 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of pepper
1 teaspoon of cumin
1 teaspoon of paprika
1 lemon, juiced
1/2 a cup of olive oil



Directions:

1. Drizzle your olive oil in the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish
2. Take your cooked meat, dice it, and toss it into your baking dish.
3. Slice up your bell pepper, dice your jalapeno, and chop your onion. Toss all into the baking dish.
4. Sprinkle your salt, pepper, cumin, paprika, and taco seasoning into your baking dish coating your meat and vegetables.
5. Juice your lemon and drizzle the lemon juice over your ingredients. With a spatula, mix everything together well, cover with tin foil, and let marinate in your refrigerator for at least 3 hours.
6. Bake your dish at 375 F, with foil still covering the dish, for 15 minutes. Take the foil off and continue baking for an additional 10 minutes.
7. I added this mixture of meat and veggies to a base of black beans and cheese on a tortilla and topped it all off with some yummy salsa and sour cream!

Do you ever buy a Rotisserie chicken, eat half, and then wonder what to do with the thing? We buy one weekly because it is a great buy on meat at under $5 for a whole, cooked, chicken! I usually end up with half a chicken and have to come up with ways to use it in the rest of the meals I am fixing for the week. This is one of those many ways you can use that cheapo bird!
Overall, this is a really easy recipe and is pretty fool proof! My husband is currently sitting next to me devouring his food and narrating every bite for me, "Mmmm the peppers still have a nice little crunch to them..." "How many jalapenos did you add to this?" "The chicken is nice and tender..."  Oh husband of mine...

Note: This recipe is on the Medium/Mild end of the heat spectrum so if you want it spicier add a second jalapeno. Also, I seeded my jalapeno and did not add the seeds to the mixture. The seeds hold a lot of the heat so you could just keep the seeds for a little more heat! Enjoy! :)

Monday, May 27, 2013

Natural Air Freshener!

   

Would you like to make you house smell good without having to constantly using sprays, candles, plug-ins, etc? Just pick up an essential oil of your liking and drop 15-20 drops on your new air filter at time of installation. Your scent should last about thirty days when it is time to change out your filter for a new one! Every time your air blows you will get a waft of that lovely scent you dropped on!
I love peppermint and think it smells so clean, so I picked up this bottle at Whole Foods for $10. The $10 bottle should last me a few months so I think it's well worth the money!
Note: make sure to vacuum out your vents with each filter change. It helps with air flow and reduces the amount of dust blown in your home! Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

How To Get Cheap Diapers!

Me and my youngest a whole year ago in the peak of my diaper changing career! 


I am a mother of two small children and with that comes lots and lots and lots of diaper changes. At one point I was changing roughly twenty diapers a day between my two children. Thankfully my oldest is almost potty trained! I am so excited to go back to a mere seven to ten diapers a day rather than the upwards of twenty!
 When I was pregnant with my first child I considered doing cloth diapers. I weighed the pros and cons and ultimately decided it was not right for me. If you can do it than more power to you! This post is for all the moms who use disposable diapers and are looking to get them for as cheap as possible! 

1. Let's get over our brand loyalty: We all have a favorite brand for our child, but if you can learn to not be brand exclusive that will save you a TON of money! Sales on diapers alternate between brands roughly every couple of weeks. I'm sure you have been in the store, down to your last diaper in the diaper bag and picked up a box of diapers that you are brand exclusive too and they were not on sale. Did it sting a little knowing you were paying full price for something that you need for your child and kind of wished it happened to magically be on sale that week? Let's try and prevent that from happening in the future, and I will show you how!
2. Worst places to buy diapers: Grocery stores are usually the worst place to buy diapers. Their prices are jacked up because they are counting on you trying to be convenient and not drive to a different store just for your more personal essentials.  Walmart is the second worse place to buy diapers. Have you ever looked at Walmart's Roll Back signs? Some times they are only a couple pennies different than the original sticker price. Walmart also counts on you convenience shopping. Babies R Us or Toys R Us is the fourth worst place to buy diapers. They often run gift card promotions where you will receive a $10-$15 gift card, but you have to spend an upwards of $50-$100 on diapers. That is outrageous!
3.  Best places to buy diapers: DRUGSTORES! Yes, it needs all caps because it is that good! Seriously, I think drugstores are the very best place to buy diapers because drugstores have loyalty programs. My absolute favorite drugstore to buy diapers at is CVS and I will show you why in a minute. Target is my second, and or back up, to drugstores. Target often does gift card promotions on their diapers (ex: buy two boxes of Huggies get $10 Target Gift Card), but you still end up spending a lot out of pocket to earn a small gift card. 
4. Stock up on your diapers! You never want to get to the point where you are down to your last couple of diapers and have to go pay full price! Look at the sales ads each week, print out a couple diaper coupons, pair the sales ads with diaper coupons and stock up on your cheap diapers!! I aim to save at least 50% on all my diaper purchases, and if I can save more that is even more awesome! 



Drugstore loyalty programs will save you a ton of money on diapers! My favorite drugstore is CVS! Each week CVS comes out with a new sales ad that lists items that you can earn Extra Care Bucks (ECBs) on. These items are highlighted, so don't worry, you won't miss them! Every few weeks diapers go on an ECB promotion. CVS alternates between Huggies and Pampers so take advantage of both brand promotions!! For example, this week Huggies is on an ECB promotion, "Buy $30 of select diapers receive $10 ECB", and is featured in a bubble in the ad with the select diapers and Pull-Ups pictures. Each pack is priced at $10, so three packs of diapers or Pull-Ups brings your total to the needed $30 mark to receive the $10 ECB promotion for your next purchase. 



On top of the sale you can use BOTH manufacture and CVS coupons on both your total purchase and the individual items you are buying! For example, when you register your CVS card at CVS.com you are then signed up to receive emails from them. Sometimes CVS will send out money off coupons for your total purchase like $5 off your next $25 purchase, etc. Always hand over any money off coupons before any other coupons you may have! Then, you can use manufacture coupons on the individual items you are purchasing. Also, you can stack a CVS coupon for that same product on top of the manufacture coupon! For example, there is currently a $2 off Pull Ups coupon that is a CVS coupon and there is a manufacture $2 off coupon that can be paired together to save a total of $4 off one package of Huggies Pull Ups!  The best part of shopping at CVS are the ECBs that you earn from buying certain items and can then use them on your next shopping trip to reduce your total out of pocket cost. For example, I had $10 ECB from a previous diaper promotion that I had saved and then spent them this week on more diapers to help reduce my total out of pocket cost.


Here is the exact transaction that I did for this week's diaper deal:

Bought: 
2 packs of Pull Ups at $10 each
1 pack of Huggies Diapers at $10 each
Total before tax: $30.00

Coupons tendered:
-$6 off $30 CVS store coupon 
-$10 ECB from a previous transaction
(2) - $2 off Pull Ups CVS store coupon (found on cvs.com)
- $1.50 off Huggies Diapers coupon (found on commonkindness.com)
- $2 off Pull Ups coupon (found on huggies.com)
- $1.50 off Pull Ups coupon (found on commonkindness.com) 

Total after tax and coupons: $5.95! That is a savings of almost $25! 
On top of my huge savings I earned a $10 ECB for my next purchase, making it a money maker of about $4! I will save the ECB for the next diaper promotion to get more cheap diapers!! :)


I am more than happy to answer any questions you may have! Please comment below! Good luck and happy savings!


Sunday, May 12, 2013

Strawberry White Wine Spritzer


Strawberry White Wine Spritzer
Yield: Serves 6

Ingredients:

1 750ml bottle of white Moscato wine 
1 liter of Sprite
2 cups of diced fresh strawberries

Directions: 

1. In a pitcher, add your bottle of wine and diced strawberries. Chill in refrigerator for 2-3 hours prior to serving. 
2. Immediately before serving, add your chilled Sprite. Pour into wine glasses and garnish with a fresh strawberry.   Enjoy!

Note: I used Barefoot Moscato, but you could use any brand that you like!

We went strawberry picking at a local farm earlier in the day, so I was left with two huge buckets of fresh, ripe, strawberries. I made this recipe up on a whim mixing two of my most favorite ingredients together: alcohol and strawberries! Yummy! The strawberries got very drunk by the end of the evening and I ate them with a spoon out of the bottom of my glass because I am super Klassy like that! I hope you all enjoyed this beverage as much as I did! Leave a comment and let me know what you thought!

Make sure to follow Cooper and Chloe on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CooperAndChloe

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Pulled Pork Sandwiches



Pulled Pork Sandwich 
Yield: Makes 6-8 sandwiches

Ingredients:

2 1/2 pounds of pork tenderloin
1 1/2 cups root beer
1 medium onion, diced
6 cloves of garlic, minced
1 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of pepper
1 teaspoon of garlic powder
1 tablespoon of ground cayenne powder
1 teaspoon of paprika
10 shakes of hot sauce
12 oz bottle of BBQ sauce


Directions:

1. Cut your tenderloin in two inch thick slices, making roughly five slices. Lay your tenderloin slices on the bottom of your slowcooker heated on LOW for 8 hours.
2. Sprinkle your salt and pepper over your meat. Add your chopped garlic and onion along with all your spices.
3. Pour your root beer over your meat and cover.
4. When you have one hour left on your timer (hour seven) use a wooden spoon and work your pork until shredded. Mix well to incorporate all the juices. Add in the bottle of BBQ sauce, mix well, and cover for the remaining hour.
5. Enjoy hot on ciabatta rolls and I bought mine at Costco. You can also store any left over pork in a Ziploc bag and freeze. Enjoy!