Taco Soup

This is the best taco soup I’ve ever made!  It’s a quick, throw together soup that taste just as good the next day.  You can cook this soup on the stove or your slow cooker and let it simmer.  Then serve with chips, shredded cheddar cheese and a dollop of sour cream.

Ingredients:

 1lb ground turkey or beef

1 Large onion, chopped

1 package Hidden Valley Ranch dressing mix

1 package taco seasoning mix

1 can each: pinto beans, chili hot beans, corn, stewed tomatoes, and one can stewed tomatoes, one can rotel mild tomatoes.

Brown the meat onions, drain.  Add in dressing and taco mixes.  Then, without draining, add all of the other ingredients.  Simmer 1 hour.  Makes 12 – one cup servings.  Enjoy!

Grocery Price list

Two frugal Gals thought it would be nice to put together a little rock bottom price list that you can print out and keep on hand as a reference when you’re shopping. Keep in mind that this list is based on our experience, so your personal rock bottom prices may very.  If you’re just starting, every item you purchase has a retail price, a sale price and a rock bottom price. A price log is a simple way to keep note of what you’re paying for an item.  Just take a sheet of paper and write out 10 or 20 items that you buy every week, then, every single time you walk into the grocery store, write the price of that item down on the paper.  You’ll need to do this for 6 to 8 weeks.  Yes, it’s tedious but you’ll suddenly notice the price changes of your items and this will determine how low your prices can go and how ling you need to stock up.  Once you find that rock bottom price, that is when you use your coupon then you stock up!

Two Frugal Gals Grocery Price List

Groceries $ Baking $
Canned   Tomatoes Free – .50 per 16 oz. can Baking Powder Free-.50 per can
Cereal 1.00-1.75 per 8 oz. box Baking Soda Free .50 per box
Dressing (Salad) .30-.80 per 12 oz. bottle Brownie Mixes .50-1.00 per box
Ketchup .50-1.00 per 12 oz. bottle Cake Mixes .50-1.00 per box
Mayonnaise 1.00-1.75 per 24 oz. container Corn Starch Free .50 per container
Mustard Free – .50 per 8 oz. box Flour 1.99 per 5 lb. bag
Pasta Free – .50 per 14 oz. box Frosting .50-1.00 per container
Sauce   (spaghetti) 1.00-1.25 per 45 oz. jar Salt .20-.50 per container
Sauce (Steak) Free – .50 per 15 oz. jar Sugar 1.49-1.99 per 4 lb.bag
Syrup 1.00-2.00 per 24 oz. bottle Yeast .50-1.00 per 3 pack strip
Tomato Paste Free – .50 per 6 oz. can
Vegetables (Frozen) .50-1.00 per 11 oz. bag  Meat  $
Waffles (frozen) 1.00-1.50 per 12 oz. box Beef (ground) 1.99-2.99 per lb.
Beef Roast 2.49-3.49 per lb.
Dairy $ Beef Stew 1.99-2.49 per lb.
Chicken   (boneless skinless breast)
Butter 1.50-2.00 per lb. tenderloins 1.99 per lb.
Cheese (cream) .50-.99 per 8 oz. Chicken (split breast) 1.19 per lb.
Cheese   (shredded) 1.19-1.69 per 8 oz. Chicken (whole) .69-.99 per lb.
Eggs .69-.89 per dozen Fish (fresh) 3.99 per lb.
Margarine free-.50 per 15 oz. Fish (frozen) 2.99 per lb.
Milk 2.59-2.99 per gallon Pork Chops (bone-in) 1.49-1.99 per lb.
Sour Cream .50-.99 per 8 oz. Pork Chops (boneless) 1.79-1.99 per lb.
Pork Roast 1.99-2.99 per lb.
Breads $ Snacks $
Bread 0.99 per loaf
Buns   (hamburger) 0.99 per 8 ct. pkg Chips (Doritos) 1.99 per  oz. bag
Buns (hot dog) 0.99 per 8 ct. pkg Chex Mix .25-.50 per 12 oz. bag
Cookies 1.00-2.00 per package
Produce $ Crackers 1.00-1.25 per box
In Season Popcorn 1.00-1.25 per box of 3
Apples .99-1.99 per lb. Chips (Fritos) 1.50-1.99 per 10.25 oz.
Bananas .39-.49 per lb. Paper $
Cantaloupe .99-1.50 per lb.
Grapes .89-1.19 per lb. Toilet Paper .19-.25 per sq ft.
Green Peppers .25-.50 per lb. Paper Plates 1.00-2.00 per 45 ct.
Lettuce .99-1.29 per lb. Paper Towels Free-1.00 per roll
Peaches .79-1.39 per lb. Baby $
Strawberries 0.99 per lb.
Watermelon 2.99-3.99 per lb. Baby food .30-.35 per jar
Baby wash or Shampoo 0.99 per 16 oz. bottle
Toiletries $ Diapers .10-.18 per diaper
Cleaning $
Dental floss Free-.50 per container
Deodorant free – .50 per stick Dish Detergent 2.00-3.00 per 30 loads
Shampoo,   Conditioner Dishwashing Soap .50-1.00 per 12 oz. bottle
Hair Spray .50-1.50 per bottle Laundry Detergent 2.00-3.00 per 30 loads
Bar soap free-.50 per 3 pack Liquid Fabric Softener 1.00-2.00 per 40 loads
Hand soap .30-1.00 per 12oz. Bottle Bottled Cleaners .50-1.00 per 24 oz. bottle
Toothpaste free-.50 per 4 oz. tube Toilet Bowl Cleaner 1.00-1.50 per 24 oz. container

Click below to download price list!

Two Frugal Gals Grocery Price List

Pumpkin Pie Bites

I love mini food and I love baking in my mini muffin tins.  So when I came across these from Bakerella.com , I couldn’t resist making them for my bible study gals.  I know pumpkin pies are normally made during thanksgiving, but if you add a pumpkin face to them you can eat them in October:)  They were super easy and fun to make!   20131015-210400.jpg

What you’ll need:

2 refrigerated ready-to roll pie crusts

8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature

1/2 cup sugar

1 cup canned pumpkin

3 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

Pumpkin-shaped cookie cutter

Optional 1/2 cup chocolate morsels vegetable oil re-sealable plastic bags

20131015-210416.jpg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Use cookie cutter to cut 12 pumpkin shapes from each pie crust. You will need to roll the dough thinner than it comes out of the box.  Press dough shapes into a 24 cup mini muffin tray.  Apply egg whites from one egg to the top edges of each pie.

20131015-210919.jpg

Mix cream cheese, sugar, canned pumpkin, remaining 2 eggs, vanilla and pumpkin pie spice together until thoroughly combined. Spoon mixture into each pumpkin-shaped pie crust. Bake for 12-15 minutes. Remove pies to cool and repeat with second pie crust. Makes 24 pies. Keep refrigerated.

20131015-212329.jpg

To decorate, melt chocolate in a heat-proof bowl in the microwave on medium. Heat in 30 second intervals, stirring in between until melted. Add a little vegetable oil to make the chocolate more fluid. Transfer to a re-sealable plastic bag and cut the corner off. Drizzle or draw faces on pies.  Or you can add cool whip and pop one in your mouth for a yummy midnight snack!  Either way you must enjoy!

Chicken and Dumplings

The cooler temperatures we’re having in Texas ( a whopping 75 degrees! ) has me in the mood for some tasty comfort foods.  And because I am a true southern girl, I had to share my favorite Chicken and Dumplings recipe with you. The flour in the dumplings thicken up the broth to create a great, creamy sauce.  While this dish does take some time and effort, it truly is a perfect and comforting meal.  I try to make this ahead of time and let it sit in the fridge a few hours before I heat it back up.  It’s tastefully filling and my kiddos love it.

20131007-134540.jpg

Chicken and Broth
3 quarts water
1 3- to 4-pound chicken, cut up (Breast or bone)
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 small onion, sliced
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 clove garlic, peeled and quartered
1 bay leaf
4 to 6 whole parsley leaves
1 tsp. coarsely ground black pepper
1 Tbsp. lemon juice

Dumplings
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1 1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup plus 2 Tbsp. milk

20131007-134550.jpg

Bring the water to a boil in a large pot. Add the chicken, 1 teaspoon salt, onion, celery, garlic, bay leaf and parsley to the pot. Reduce heat to simmer and cook the chicken, uncovered, for 2 hours. The liquid will reduce by about one third. Once the chicken is cooked, cut the chicken meat into bite-size or a little bigger than bite-size pieces and drop them into the pot.  Strain the stock to remove all the vegetables and floating scum. You only want the stock and the chicken, so toss everything else out. Pour 1 1/2 quarts (6 cups) of the stock back into the pot.  Add coarsely ground pepper, the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and the lemon juice, then reheat the stock over medium heat while preparing the dumplings.

20131007-134601.jpg

For dumplings, combine flour, baking powder, salt and milk in a medium bowl. Stir well until smooth, then let the dough rest for 5 to 10 minutes. Roll the dough out onto a floured surface to about a 1/2-inch thickness.  Cut the dough into 1/2-inch squares and drop each square into the simmering stock. Use all of the dough. The dumplings will first swell and then slowly shrink as they partially dissolve to thicken the stock into a white gravy. Simmer 20 to 30 minutes until thick. Stir often.  When the gravy has reached the desired consistency, ladle four portions into bowls and serve hot.

Pumpkin Halloween String Garland

This was a super fun Halloween craft project, but I’ll have to say it was a bit messy.  We tried our first batch of pumpkins inside and decided to do the other batch outside.  It’s definitely a project for ages 7 and up!  Kinley enjoyed wrapping and is planning on doing more!  I found the idea on Spoonful.com they made Jack Skellington’s  but we are a bunch of wimps over here and made pumpkins instead.

20131008-155343.jpg

Orange cotton string

Black felt

Green Pipe Cleaner

Water Balloons

Liquid Fabric Starch (you can find this on the laundry isle next to the spray starch)

20131008-155415.jpg

20131008-155435.jpg

20131008-155457.jpg

20131008-155446.jpg

1.  Blow up your water balloons so they are about 4 inches wide and tie off the ends.

2. Cut the orange cotton string into long lengths, about 5 feet long. You can always cut more.

3.  Cut out the eyes, nose, and mouth template and trace them onto the black felt. Cut out the pieces. You will need a pair of eyes, a nose, and a mouth for each pumpkin string ball you wish to make.

4.  Pour liquid starch into a bowl. Place your balloon into the bowl. Dip the ends of your 5 foot white string into the bowl and wrap the string around your balloon, soaking the string in the starch before you wrap. Add more lengths of orange string. Once the balloon resembles a very messy spider web, hang the balloon up to dry. Place newspaper or craft paper under the balloons as they will drip.  (We did our second batch outside).

5.  Cut a piece of string about a foot long and tie one end to the end of the balloon. (You will use this string to hang your balloon so it can dry).

6.  Once all the string balls are dry, pop the balloons and pull them out through a gap in the string.  (Make sure the string is completely dry or the sting will fall apart we waited to pop balloon until the next day) Glue on a pair of eyes, a mouth, and a nose and pipe cleaner for the stem to each string ball. Tie them to a long ribbon, yarn, or string garland, evenly spacing them. Cut off extra string after you have tied them into place.

Giant soft pretzels

We have a pretzel problem around here.  Between me and my frugal friend, we have posted multiple times about all different kinds of pretzels.  Today we are going to learn how to make a classic….Giant Soft Pretzels.

 

Here is what you need:

Pretzel dough:

4 cups flour
3/4 cup milk
3/4 cup water
3 TBS brown sugar
2TBS oil
1tsp salt
2 1/4 tsp yeast

Toss ingredients into a bread machine on the dough cycle. (If you don’t have one, mix in a blender with a dough hook and set aside to rise for about an hour.)

Pretzel Toppings:

1 Egg (lightly beat and place to the side for an egg wash)

pretzel salt

1 TBS sugar

1/2 TBS cinnamon

Butter

Boiling Solution:

2 Quarts water

1/4 cup baking soda

 

Once your dough is ready, boil your water in a large pot and stir in the baking soda.

If you want cinnamon/sugar topped pretzels, combine them in a bowl and set aside.

20130908-191418.jpgOnce your water is warming up roll your dough it into long strands.  About 15-18 inches.  The longer they are, the bigger your pretzels will be.

20130908-191428.jpgCross the ends over of your dough.

20130908-191437.jpgTwist it….like this.

20130908-191453.jpgFold it down.

20130908-191503.jpgPinch the corners down so it holds its shape when you boil it.

20130908-191513.jpgBrush with an egg wash.

20130908-191525.jpgDrop it in your boiling solution. Boil for 2 minutes on each side.  Bake your pretzels on 425 for 8-10 minutes.

20130908-191539.jpgWhile your pretzel is still hot, top with butter. If you just want a salty pretzel, now is the time to sprinkle the pretzel salt on top.

20130908-191551.jpgIf you want cinnamon/sugar pretzels, lay them face down in the mixture before the butter dries.

ENJOY!! 🙂

Frugal Fun

Frugal living doesn’t mean having a life without fun.  In fact, you might be surprised how easy it is to trim your expenses with a little patience and planning.  My family has made a tradition of going to the Texas State fair every year since we moved to the Big D. This year was especially important because we wanted to see the new Big Tex. Depending on the day, you can save some serious cash if you plan it just right.  General admission is $17 and paying for parking costs another $15…this doesn’t include the yummy food and fun games/rides.  For a family of 5, you’re looking at a pretty expensive outing.   Instead of letting go of one of our favorite family traditions, I did a little research and came across some great savings.  Kroger had a can food drive on Wednesday which made admission only $3 for each visitor bringing 3 cans of food for area food banks. We ended up paying only $9 total for our whole family while also helping out a great cause.   We also saved a few bucks in parking and found some great free activities and shows the kiddos loved.  Being frugal does not mean that you can never spend money; it just means that you spend your money wisely instead of blindly. 

  IMG_8600 IMG_8601

 

IMG_8605

Howdy Folks!

 

 

Previous Older Entries Next Newer Entries

%d bloggers like this: