Sale on Fresh Chicken…What to Do!?!?

Filed under :Food - Smart Savings!

I found packages of chicken on sale yesterday, 6 fresh chicken breasts, marked down to only $3 each!!! WOW!!! I bought 5 packages, which equaled 30 boneless, skinless chicken breasts for about 50 cents apiece!

There are so many options on what to do with them, I am about to explode!

Do you ever find a screaming deal at the grocery store, and stare at it, unsure of what to do? Well here are some great ideas on what to do the next time you see FRESH chicken marked down!

After clearing out the pantry and fridge, chopped up two chicken breasts, I stuck them in a delicious Rigatoni Chicken Veggie Soup! That was warm and quite filling on a cold winter day.

Being a die hard Southern California girl, who misses her barbequed chicken, decided to throw it on the grill. While cold outside, it was sunny and gorgeous! So we fired up the outdoor barbie, and threw 3 packages on the heated grill. Kind of strange to cook outside, when it was cold, but it added to the fun! The view from our back porch is gorgeous, rolling hills dotted with farms, cows strolling along.

After grilling the chicken breasts, I put them in a Tupperware container and sealed the lid for a few minutes. This lightly steams them, making them more tender. Then, chop into bite sizes, salt VERY lightly, and divide into freezer bags (I did 2 breasts per bag). Cool thoroughly, label, then pop into the freezer. I kept a few BBQ’d chicken breasts whole, and put them in bags.

These frozen bags of Barbecued Chicken are ideal for picnics in summer, just grab a bag of BBQ’d chicken and pop into a cooler. We pack veggies and hummus and have the perfect, flavorful meal that supplies lots of energy! Year round, BBQ’d chicken is easy to pack into a cooler for a healthy meal on a long road trip! Imagine that – real food – rather than pressed, hydrogenated, fried, chemical-ed up, mystery meat!

These tasty BBQ’d chicken breasts won’t last that long in our freezer this winter. We will probably use them to make soups and stews, put into a crockpot dish, a casserole or throw into tacos or taco salads, and they would work well in enchiladas, burritos, nachos and tostados if your family prefers those.

All in all, I got a fantastic DEAL on this chicken, and the vast majority of it is COOKED and ready to make into simple, healthy meals!

Tomorrow, I will figure out what to do with the other 2 packages, a whole dozen MORE!


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Winter Storm Coming…Let’s PREPARE!

Filed under :Emergency Preparedness, Homemaking, The Prudent Wife

This is still in process…but our lights are flickering, so I am going to post this and release it and watch a movie with the family! It isn’t even edited properly…but time is OF the essence! Please send a link to anyone this might help! And do sign up for our free newsletter if you like this! Tomorrow, look forward to a post on ideas for keeping warm all winter in colder climates – with tons of super tips!

Hey everyone! We are getting our first REAL massive winter storm since moving to Tennessee. We have spent the day preparing for the possible storm and trying to think of anything we might need!

Our single biggest concern is electricity, since our home is 100% electric. Not comfortable with that fact, but that is what it is at this point in our lives. What would we do if we lost electricity and how can we prepare? How do we control the controllables and prepare with what we have! If you are caught in a storm, how can YOU control your controllables, and prepare!

The obvious QUICK solution is to go to a hotel and camp out there! However, in a winter storm, roads may be impassible and the whole area may be without power, so that is not necessarily an option. We live in the beautiful foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, so travel can be hazardous.

Hubby could not even make it home tonight, and his truck is stranded on the interstate! He began walking in the SNOW STORM home (8 or 9 miles) and was mercifully given rides from two generous strangers. We literally prayed him home, and the Lord was watching out for him. This is some storm, as a transplanted Southern Californian, it is all new to me! I am used to earthquakes and fires – NOT snow storms!

The best solution is how can we ALL make the best we can out of what we have at home, and prepare to cozy up, batten down the hatches and face this storm barreling down on our area.

To start with, we began washing ALL of our clothes early this morning, to make sure we would have clean clothes, no matter what happens! We made sure all of our fuzzy flannel pajamas were washed and we had plenty of ways to dress in layers if need be! Next came sheets and towels, which were on the laundry list to wash today anyway! I always feel so content when all of our clothing, sheets and towels are clean! We have plenty of extra towels and washcloths in the bathrooms, so we should be fine there.

Warmth would be our biggest concern, so we searched the garage for resources. In came the big bin of fleece fabric that we have, and we began throwing several loads of fleece, one after the other in the washer. Since fleece is the warmest “extra” fabric that we had, we chose that to wash first. Next came a few blankets that are warm, but the wrong sizes for our current beds.

How to light a dark house came next. I had my daughter get all of our candles out of the buffet, and gather the matches, putting them all into a pretty tray on the table. We already have our pretty crystal lamps on the table for Advent. Emily ran out and grabbed the extra lamp oil out of the garage, in case we need to refill everything. Flashlights were found and located near where we sit, so we can easily walk to the table and light candles if needed. Light secured!

Water is also a huge concern during a winter storm, in case you lose the ability to get clean water. We store two types, both regular water, and drinking water.

Throughout the day, we were pulling gallons of drinking water out of our reverse osmosis, filling coffee pots with water, tea pots, and making pitchers of iced tea. If we lose power, I will probably still want my iced tea! Washed the dog bowl and filled it to the brim with fresh water for ClaraBaughn! We also made sure we refilled all the water bottles we had. Yesterday, we made two huge pots of bone building broth, so we have lots of soup supplies ready.

Coming from earthquake prone California, I am fanatic about storing regular water for miscellaneous purposes. The garage has gallons and gallons of water, stored in everything from clean glass juice bottles, old soda bottles, and even old milk jugs. The point is not perfection – it is to have water to wash with IF needed. Begin building a supply!

Food is good to have on hand. Yesterday, I splurged at the grocery store and stocked up on toilet paper, tissues and lots of canned soups and foods. During the holidays there are always great buys, and we took advantage of coupons and sales.  I did go over budget on food, but I am also well prepared as we face a weather forecast of 7 or 8 days of snow, out of the next 10!

In the all electric house, we do also have an alternative cooking source, and that is our BBQ. It has the regular grill surface and we always make sure we have a separate burner on it as well. It would be a little hokey to grill out on the back porch as it snows, but it is at least an option! In our camping gear, we also have two stoves, a Civil War stove that burns wood, and we have two different cook tops that use propane. I am sorry to say, we are out of propane, that is one thing I did not think of!

Phones were also high on our priority list, we went ahead and charged all of our cell phones up, then turned them off. We are looking at a cozy weekend at home, enjoying some family time. That way, we can turn the phones on IF needed, or to check for messages, and be reassured that if it snows for three days they will keep their charge. Our end is covered, but whether or not they will WORK is another matter. My husband was stranded on the side of the road a few hours ago, and all circuits were busy and I could not get through for hours.

All of our laptops are fully charged, so whether we have electricity or not, we will all have varying times on our batteries. Not sure if we will have internet, but again, we are controlling the controllables on OUR end!

Finally, we grabbed our sleeping bags off the shelf in the garage, and put them right outside the garage door. If we lose power, the last thing we want to do is stumble through the garage, trying to figure out WHERE our sleeping bags are! We just want to grab them and go!

I am going to include some resources here, for others who might like to prepare.

OSHA on Winter Storms article can be found here, with some ideas on how to cope with storms.

Ready.gov has information on assembling a winter safety kit here.

Wondering how to keep food safe in an emergency, here are some ideas here! Specific instructions on what to do with all your different food items, with food safety ideas covering ANY problem you face! Here is the PDF of the same information. I would highly suggest printing this information and keeping it in an emergency notebook.

How to remove odors from refrigerator after losing power for long periods of time.


Dell Color Laser Printer for $99

Filed under :Saving Money

After I wrote that whole article on DubLi, I failed to give you the information on the printer we ordered! It is a Dell 1230c Color Laser Printer. Directly from the Dell Online Store, so there is no question or worry on whether or not it is a scam. Regularly selling for $229, this is quite a deal, and it may end at any moment! We hesitated on a $100 printer 2 months ago, and lost out with our hesitation!

We were looking for an inexpensive LASER printer for our daughter’s school projects. This cost averages out to $25 per year, for high school, a bargain indeed!

This one may nail us with toner costs in the long run, especially since Dell and Lexmark try to make their toners unfillable! But for now, when Emily is in the thick of writing papers and preparing a High School Portfolio, for each year of high school. It is cheaper than running to town and printing each report and item for the portfolio, not to mention saving gas, time and money! So yes, it is a bargain indeed!


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What is DubLi?

Filed under :Saving Money, Simplicity

At The Prudent Wife, we are always trying to figure out how to live within your means, save money, eat fantastic food and pay off debt. No matter where you are on that continuum, there are times you need to spend money. Items break, printers need replaced, appliances fail, you know the story. You are getting ahead, surging forward in your financial goals, and suddenly something breaks.

I had been hearing about  Dubli.com on the radio. Since we are searching for an INEXPENSIVE color laser for my daughter’s high school papers, it was a good time to check out DubLi and see if their claims are true.

So, off I went to the DubLi site. It suggested newcomers watch a video, explaining the DubLi process. Okay, I clicked and proceeded to watch an almost 9 minute video. Ugh. What unfolded was a complex system of reverse auctions, etc, where DubLi says they find the best price out there for you. The kicker, you have to pay 80 cents to see the lowest price on EACH item you select. They tell you that your time and gas are worth money. True. But is THEIR service worth the money?

The video continued on about all sorts of ways DubLi can “save you money” and “get you the best price.” They have special apps you can download that run constantly, alerting you when you are at the best price and on and on. They have rewards and this and that, droning on for almost 9 minutes….dreary indeed. This is “fun shopping?” Ugh!

Bottom line, DubLi will set your computer up to shop constantly and alert you!

Which is just what folks who are in debt and trying to get ahead DO NOT NEED, a constant alert to spend money.

Not only that, but DubLi is making a mint, each time you “click” and you can buy x amount of clicks for $200. You can spend some serious money just SHOPPING DubLi’s prices, especially if you are compulsive, competitive or even bored!

No thank you.

I will just mosey back to the Dell site and order my $99 laser color printer, and stay put. I don’t mind spending $99 for a printer….and that is all there is to spend on.

I also searched online and found a website, The Spin Factor, that seemed to think DubLi was just another complex scam. Not sure about that website, never having used it before, but there are plenty others that seem to point to the same things. It is always good to check out both sides of a new site – since you are putting your credit card information in and we live in the age of identity insecurity!

Again, the real reason I am not using DubLi, too many opportunities to spend money frivolously! No thanks.


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Citrus Pork Loin with Apple Compote

Filed under :Recipes

I absolutely love to read recipes. Today, while cleaning out the fridge, evaluating what needs to be used and putting together a grocery list, I came across a bag of oranges and a bag of apples that needed to be used, along with 1/2 of a huge pork loin bought on sale. Later on, Southern Living happened to email me some Christmas recipes, along with Pork Tenderloin with Carolina Apple Compote….and this is my adaptation with a twist, upgraded to anti-inflammatory choices.

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour(s) 46 minutes
Other: 2 hour(s) 15 minutes
Yield: Makes 8 to 10 servings

 

Ingredients

  • 3  garlic cloves, minced
  • 2  teaspoons  cumin
  • 2  teaspoons  salt
  • 1/2  teaspoon  pepper
  • 1  dried cayenne pepper, diced or 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1  (3-lb.) boneless pork loin roast
  • 2  teaspoons  EVOO
  • 2  pounds Gala apples, unpeeled (or peeled if your family is squeamish about skins)
  • 1  tablespoon  lemon juice
  • 1  cup  apple cider
  • 2 oranges, juiced and their zest (to pour and bake over pork roast)
  • 1 orange, juiced (for apple compote)
  • 2 1/2  teaspoons  orange zest
  • 1/2  teaspoon  ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of ground cloves
  • 1  tablespoon  butter

 

Preparation

1. Combine first 4 ingredients. Rub mixture on all sides of pork roast. Cover and chill 2 hours, or overnight.

2. Preheat oven to 375°. Brown roast in hot oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat 2 to 4 minutes on all sides. It will smell utterly delicious as you brown it! Place pork on a baking stone or a lightly greased rack in an aluminum foil-lined roasting pan. Juice oranges, and pour fresh orange juice over pork roast. Sprinkle with orange zest and cayenne peppers or red pepper flakes.

3. Bake at 375° for 1 hour or until a meat thermometer inserted into thickest portion registers 150°. Cover roast with foil, and let stand 15 minutes before slicing.

4. Meanwhile, cut apples into bite-size pieces; sprinkle with lemon juice.

5. Add cider, fresh orange juice and next 4 ingredients to skillet. Cook, over medium heat, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes or until slightly thickened. Add apples, and cook, stirring occasionally, 20 minutes or just until apples are tender and liquid is absorbed. Stir in butter until melted, and remove skillet from heat. Stir any accumulated pan juices from roast into compote. Serve compote immediately with pork.

We served this with baked sweet potatoes, and spinach sauteed with garlic, and it was phenomenal! Full of anti-oxidants and healthy, vitamin packed fruits, it really took the chill of an evening that got down to 12 degrees. You will be feeding your family a super healthy meal that will boost immunity too.


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CROCK POT BEEF STROGANOFF

Filed under :Recipes

One of the hardest things about FINDING healthy crock pot meals, is most recipes call for MSG infested “cream of something” soup. Yuck! Not going to eat that stuff. So finding recipes that do not have a cans of soup, or tons of flour, are a challenge! I adapted this from a recipe on cooks.com for CROCK POT BEEF STROGANOFF! This is my gluten free, MSG free, cream of something soup free version! I will let you know how it is! 

3 lb. beef round steak, 1/2 inch thick
2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. dry mustard
2 med. onions, thinly sliced and separated into rings
1/2 lb. mushrooms, sliced
1 (10 1/2 oz.) can condensed beef broth
1/4 c. dry white wine (optional)
1 1/2 c. sour cream

Trim all excess fat from steak and cut meat into 3 inch strips about 1/2 inch wide. Combine salt, pepper and dry mustard; toss with steak strips to coat thoroughly. Place coated steak strips in crock pot; stir in onion rings and mushrooms. Add beef broth and wine; stir well. Cover and cook on low setting for 8-10 hours. Before serving, stir sour cream into crock pot.


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Chicken Tortilla Soup ~ Anti-inflammatory Style

Filed under :Recipes

What sounds better than a warm and nourishing bowl of chicken soup on a winter day, when the mercury is hovering around the freezing point? How about a delicious bowl of Chicken Tortilla Soup adapted from a recipe my friend Lucy makes, back home in CA? I have switched to our fantastic “Bone Building Broth” (on The Prudent Wife website) and added more vegetables and garlic, to up the anti-oxidants and nutrition. Just reading the ingredients, you can almost taste it!

  • 4-6 boneless chicken breast, cooked and shredded
  • 1- 28 oz. canned whole tomatoes
  • 1-28 oz. enchilada sauce (homemade, recipe on The Prudent Wife website)
  • 3 med to large onions, chopped
  • 1 7oz. can of green chilies, diced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh minced garlic
  • 12 cups of water and 4 Tbls. of chicken bouillon -or-
  • 12 cups homemade bone building broth
  • 1tsp. of chili powder
  •  1tsp. of salt
  • 1/2 tsp. of pepper
  • 1 bag of organic chopped veggies (carrots/corn/green beans)
  • 2 diced red or yellow bell peppers
  • 2-3 Tbls. of fresh cilantro
    Optional: Add a large can of pinto beans or fresh pinto beans, which is what I do.

Saute chopped onions in EVOO in a large stock pot until browned. Combine all ingredients into the large stock pot. Boil first and then simmer(I leave it on low for at least an hour) or place in a slow cooker, cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours.

Optional, serve topped with tortilla chips and cheese!

Hope you like it. It’s one of my FAVORITE soups!!!


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Lucy’s Chicken Tortilla Soup

Filed under :Recipes

What sounds better than a warm and nourishing bowl of chicken soup on a winter day, when the mercury is hovering around the freezing point? How about a delicious Chicken Tortilla Soup recipe from my friend Lucy back home? Just reading the ingredients, you can almost taste it! Already have the chicken simmering on the stove, what could be better than Chicken Tortilla Soup on a cold winter day?

4-6 boneless chicken breast, cooked and shredded
1- 28 oz. canned whole tomatoes
1-28 oz. enchilada sauce ( I use the red Las Palmas sauce)
1 large onion, chopped
1 7oz. can of green chilies, diced
1/2 tsp. of minced garlic
12 cups of water
4 Tbls. of Knorr’s chicken bouillon
1tsp. of chili powder
1tsp. of salt
1/2 tsp. of pepper
1 bag of frozen corn
2-3 Tbls. of fresh cilantro
Optional: Add a large can of pinto beans or fresh pinto beans, which is what I do.

Combine all ingredients in a large stock pot. Boil first and then simmer(I leave it on low for atleast an hour) or place in a slow cooker, cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours.

Serve topped with tortilla chips and cheese!

Hope you like it. It’s one of my FAVORITE soups!!!


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Book Review: This Is Your Brain On Joy

Filed under :Book Reviews

I have been a fan of Dr. Daniel Amen, of the Amen Clinics for years! When I saw he had written the forward for This Is Your Brain on Joy: A Revolutionary Program for Balancing Mood, Restoring Brain Health, and Nurturing Spiritual Growth and had worked with the author, Dr. Earl Henslin, I knew I had to read it!

Dr. Henslin is a licensed, Christian marriage, family, and child therapist practicing in Southern California. Dr. Henslin was intrigued by the SPECT scans, the incredible new scans of the human brain from the Amen Clinic. After years of study, and working with this technology with patients, Dr. Henslin wrote This is Your Brain on Joy as a guide to help us all work better with the brain we have.The book reads like a fascinating thriller to me. Granted, I am a total geek when it comes to the human body and brain and love books like this.

I dove into this book to my geeky hearts content! Chock full of information, SPECT scans, and real scenarios with patients,  This is Your Brain on Joy is an utterly fascinating book for anyone more interested in how to literally build a more joyful brain. It will help you understand yourself, your family and others around you and give you a mountain of practical information that you can try right away.

Start by taking the convenient quiz to figure out where you might be. Then read through to understanding on how to literally build a more satisfying, joyful life. We can be imprisoned within a brain that is not functioning optimally and This is Your Brain on Joy will help you unlock simple, inexpensive things you can do. It was similar to another favorite book, The Mood Cure, by Julia Ros, but went much deeper, along with the added depth of a biblical worldview. Both recommend a combination of a high protein, lower carb diet, with amino acid supplements, vitamins and other low tech things to help your brain. It does discuss prescription medications if needed, along with strategies to improve how your brain functions.Whether you have issues with depression, anxiety, anger, have had a brain injury, or just want a general tune up, This is Your Brain on Joy will help you fine tune the brain God has given you!

I would highly recommend this to anyone who is willing to prayerfully THINK through the book! This is also a fantastic book for homeschooling families – who wouldn’t want a more joyful family!


Forecasters on Frugality

Filed under :Attitude

As 2009 speeds to a close, information forecasters are posting opinions everywhere! Will the “New Frugality” last is discussed here.

A big discussion on frugality is discussed here, with big questions on whether it will last.

What do you think? Has “The Great Recession” caused you to permanently change your spending and financial habits?


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