Slow Cooker Root Beer Barbecue

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Need an e.a.s.y. recipe on a busy weeknight? 


This is for you. ;)


Literally ~ just dump a few simple in Mrs. Potts, turn the dial on low, then walk away and let her do the cooking all day.




Let’s get dinner started, shall we? ;)

3 Ingredient Pork Barbecue

  • 18 oz bottle barbecue sauce (we used Sweet Baby Ray’s)
  • 2 pound pork tenderloin
  • 12 oz rootbeer
  • Place pork tenderloin in slow cooker.
  • Rub with salt & pepper (optional – I did add a little salt and pepper to mine.)
  • Pour root beer over pork.
  • Let it cook for 6-7 hours on low.
  • Drain all juices and shred pork.
  • Dump bottle of barbecue sauce on top, let cook for 15 minutes on low until heated through.
  • Serve over hamburger buns – enjoy!

Here are the best sales I see to watch for this week (as of 1/14/15):

  • Pork Tenderloin $3.49/lb at Kroger
  • Boneless Pork Tenderloin Buy One Get One Free at Harris Teeter
  • Meijer Pork Tenderloin $2.89/lb.
  • Publix Barbecue Sauce $1.19

Recipe adapted from All Recipes. Thanks to I Heart Publix for the coupon matchups. If you need a little more menu inspiration, go HERE

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Homemade Egg McMuffins

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We tried out these homemade Egg McMuffin Sandwiches last night for dinner, and they were so much like McDonald’s but even better because I knew exactly what was going into them! Even though none of the items were on sale (and I paid way too much for them here at our Giant Eagle ~ yikes!), I still saved a bundle over heading through the drive thru. Here’s the cost breakdown:

  • 6 English Muffins $4.29 (I was shocked at that price – you can definitely find a better sale on those!)
  • 1 package Hormel Canadian Bacon $4.99 (also really high – I’ll watch for a sale next time)
  • 6 eggs $1
  • American Cheese Slices $.75
  • Total = 11.38, compared to $2.79 each at McDonald’s or $16.74, and that was without a sale (or even shopping a store like Aldi or Walmart – I’ll definitely do that next time!)


Both Publix and Winn Dixie had Thomas English Muffins on sale for $2.10 this week, and I’m betting if I waited for a sale I could get Canadian Bacon for around $3. If I’d been able to get them just for those prices my total expense would have been $6.86 or $1/14 per sandwich, almost 1/3 of the McDonald’s cost ~ I’ll definitely watch for sales on those to stock up next time!


The best part about making them at home though is you get to control what goes into your sandwich. You could easily substitute the cheese for Swiss or Cheddar to skip processed cheese, and you know exactly what’s going into your frying pan. I followed these directions exactly, used a mason jar lid ring to make the eggs like they recommended, and my husband agreed that they tasted just like the real thing.


While it’s not the most exciting meal out there, this was an easy way to feed our bunch before we all headed out to different activities, and helped us skip a trip through the drive thru. I’d love to hear if you’ve made other restaurant recipes at home and they’ve worked out ~ one of the biggest way to pinch pennies is definitely by just eating at home!

Looking for restaurant recipes to try at home? Here are a few of our favorites . . .


If you need a little more menu inspiration, go HERE


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Menu Plan Week Of 1/11/15 (Includes Printable List!)


Here’s this week’s menu plan and grocery shopping list! I’m so excited because I’m trying out a new plan this week ~ I’m going to pre-cook and organize everything we need for the week this weekend, that way dinner can be thrown together in just a few minutes each night!

Screen Shot 2015-01-10 at 6.46.17 AM


I also created this handy dandy free printable google doc for you to print if you’d like to follow our menu plan – hopefully it makes your life a little simpler this week (let me know if you like it!) If you’re new to Google Docs, here’s how to print your list:

  • Open the document HERE
  • Click “file” in the top left hand corner of the screen
  • Click “print” at the bottom of that menu and print your list


Screen Shot 2015-01-10 at 6.59.15 AM


If you’re hoping to get on track too, check out my Menu Planning board on Pinterest where I’ve got all the links to the recipes we’re eating each week. Head on over HERE to check that out, and I’d love for you to join all the PPP boards on Pinterest too.



Here’s what’s on the menu this week . . .

Shopping List
  • 3 lb shoulder roast
  • 2-3 cups cooked chicken (I’ll make mine ahead using a whole chicken in the slow cooker)
  • Canadian bacon
  • 2 onions
  • 8 oz sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 1/2 beef broth (can substitute by making broth with beef bouillon cubes)


  • 1 can beefy mushroom soup (make sure to get the right soup – not cream of mushroom soup)
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 1 can rotel
  • 1 can black beans
  • English muffins
  • eggs
  • American or Swiss Cheese (I’m going to substitute Swiss Cheese for American in the Egg McMuffins)
  • 32 oz ricotta cheese
  • 1 pound mozzarella cheese
  • 8 oz Parmesan cheese
  • 28 oz jar pasta
  • 12 oz jumbo pasta shells

Side Dish Extras

  • salad
  • potatoes for mashed potatoes with pot roast
  • canned, fresh or frozen veggies to have with pot roast
  • chips for tortilla soup
  • garlic bread
  • fresh fruit

Pantry Staples

  • salt
  • pepper
  • flour
  • garlic powder
  • olive oil
  • beef bouillon cubes
  • corn starch
  • parsley
  • chili powder
  • cumin

Do you have anything yummy on your menu plan this week?  I’d love to hear what you’re having, and if you have any great recipe ideas please leave a comment to share!  Here are a few previous menu plans that you can also try out:


Check out my recipes to try board on Pinterest, and see more penny-pinched recipe ideas.  This post is linked up to OrgJunkie’s Menu Plan Monday where you can find lots more menu planning ideas! 



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{Pantry} Chicken Stew

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Note from Laurie ~ I was looking over Shannon’s recipe and it looked so good that I decided to pop it in Mrs. Potts today. (It’s 10 degrees outside, so definitely the kind of day for some chicken stew!) To make it in the crockpot, I put the potatoes in Mrs. Potts along with 2 cups of chicken broth (I boiled 2 cups water and added in 1 cube chicken bouillon) and set on high for one hour. Next I’ll mash the potatoes up, add in the remaining ingredients except the butter, and let it simmer all day (I’ll add the butter in a few minutes before serving.) This looks so good ~ I’ll let you know if we like it tonight!


UPDATE from Laurie – IT WAS SO GOOD! I added the potatoes and 2 cups chicken broth to my slow cooker and cooked on high for an hour until they were pretty soft. (My slow cooker cooks FAST, so you may need to cook them a little longer if yours doesn’t.) Then I mashed the potatoes, added everything else in except the margarine/butter (decided to skip those completely) and the chicken was even frozen. I let it cook for 5 hours on low. Shredded chicken and mixed everything back in. It was one of my husband’s favorites! (It makes a LOT – my crockpot was actually overflowing so I only added a total of about 4.5 cups of broth – including the 2 cups I used for the potatoes initially.)


This is the perfect recipe for those cold winter days. I’m betting you have everything you need in your pantry for this recipe, which makes it just the perfect recipe.

I craved my Grandmama’s Chicken Stew when I was pregnant with my 16-year-old and never got it (since we lived in Alaska away from family.)  It never dawned on me that I can actually make it myself!  :)  When I found this recipe about a year ago I messed it up a few times, however this final recipe is just delicious. And it tastes just like any restaurant (and my Grandmama’s) Chicken Stew.



Chicken Stew

Prep Time: 3 hours

Cook Time: 3 hours

Total Time: 3 hours


  • 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked
  • 2 large onions
  • 7 cups of water
  • 6 medium potatoes
  • 3 tablespoons of butter
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 cans of corn (or 1 bag of frozen corn)
  • 2 14 oz cans of diced tomatoes or (1) 28 oz can
  • 5 tsp of salt
  • 3 small chicken boullion cubes


  1. Place the water in an 8 quart stockpot.
  2. Add potatoes and onions cook on high for 30 minutes.
  3. Reduce heat to low.
  4. Take 1 cup of cooked potatoes out and mash that cup potatoes using a fork.
  5. Return mashed potatoes to stock pot (this will thicken your soup.)
  6. Add corn, diced tomatoes, salt, pepper, bouillon cubes, sugar and cooked chicken (I cook my chicken in my crock pot for 3-4 hours on low, then shred)
  7. Cook on low at least an hour.
  8. Add butter 45 minutes before serving.
  9. Freeze leftovers. Yum!

If you’d like to make the recipe using a whole chicken instead of boneless skinless chicken breast, check out the original recipe at Southern Plate. 
Here are the best sales I see to watch for this week (as of 1/7/15):

  • Earth Fare $5 Rotisserie Chicken every Friday
  • Kroger Boneless Skinless Frozen Chicken Breasts 18-26 oz $4.99 after Mega Sale
  • Perdue Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast Buy One Get One Free at Kroger (Midsouth Region)
  • Publix Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast on sale $2.49/lb. after BOGO sale
  • Publix Russet Potatoes 5 lb. bag $2.99
  • Kroger Organic Russet Potatoes 3 lb. bag on sale $1.99
  • Del Monte Canned Vegetables BOGO at Publix
  • Meijer Canned Vegetables $.79


Adapted from Southern Plate.  Thanks to I Heart Publix for the coupon matchups. If you need a little more menu inspiration, go HERE

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Menu Plan Monday: Week Of 1/5/14


cheeseburger soup - PINTEREST

Anyone else in desperate need of some menu planning at their house? After surviving the Christmas crazies here (I really do love every minute of it!), our pantry was in sore need of some basic staples, and we absolutely needed a menu plan.


I’m hoping to work on healthier menus for our family this year (we’ll see how they feel about that), and am trying to work our meals out around our busy weeknight schedule. My big goal is to try and start pre-cooking everything for the week ahead starting next Saturday, so I’ll update you on how that goes and what work it entails once I try it out myself. (I would love any tips if you have them!


Here’s what’s on the menu this week . . .



And here’s the shopping list I used. (We’re supposed to get 3-4″ of snow that will stick for a few days here, and since I’m still pretty clueless as to how to drive in snow I stocked up on everything today!)

Grocery List

  • 12 oz fettucine
  • fresh garlic
  • celery
  • 2 onions
  • 3/4 cup fresh grated Parmesan
  • salad
  • fresh fruit
  • 10 oz can Healthy Request Cream of Chicken soup
  • Rotel
  • 4 oz can green chiles
  • 1 package 8 tortillas (low carb, optional)
  • 3 cups beef broth
  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • baked low fat tortilla chips
  • yeast
  • cornmeal (optional – for pizza dough but I may skip that step?)
  • mozzarella cheese
  • 8 oz low fat cheddar cheese
  • 1/w cup Mexican shredded cheese (low fat – optional)
  • 8 oz low fat sour cream
  • pizza toppings
  • chicken nuggets
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast


Pantry Staples

  • olive oil
  • flour
  • chicken broth
  • milk
  • salt
  • pepper
  • paprika


Do you have anything yummy on your menu plan this week?  I’d love to hear what you’re having, and if you have any great recipe ideas please leave a comment to share!  



Check out my recipes to try board on Pinterest, and see more penny-pinched recipe ideas.  This post is linked up to OrgJunkie’s Menu Plan Monday where you can find lots more menu planning ideas! 


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Coca Cola Cake

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I think I have found the perfect chocolate cake. And the perfect chocolate frosting. (I will never make chocolate frosting another way again. This was perfect!)


Since the New Year’s right around the corner I’m just about finished posting delicious treats (2015 resolutions, you know!), but here’s one last yummy to satisfy that sweet tooth.


And by the way, I never (ever?) buy buttermilk. Just pour 1/2 teaspoon of vinegar into a measuring cup and add enough milk to make 1/2 cup, then let it sit on the counter for ten minutes to sour the milk.


You’re welcome. ;)


Here’s the recipe for you to enjoy too ~ Happy New Year’s!!!!




Coca Cola Cake


For Cake

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup butter
  •  1 1/2 cups marshmallows
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup coca cola
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk (or 1/2 tsp vinegar along with enough milk to make one cup – then let sit for ten minutes to sour the milk)

For Frosting

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 6 tbsp coca cola
  • 4 cups powdered sugar


  1. Mix together flour and sugar in large mixing bowl.
  2. In microwave, heat butter, 3 tablespoons cocoa, and 1 cup coca cola until boiling (it took mine 3-4 minutes to boil.)
  3. Pour butter mixture over flour and sugar and mix well.
  4. Immediately add in marshmallows and give the bowl a quick stir to help them melt quickly. Then add buttermilk, eggs, baking soda and vanilla.
  5. Mix well with a spoon by hand, and pour into greased 9×13 pan.
  6. Bake at 350 for 40 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile, mix 1/2 cup butter, 2 tablespoons cocoa and 6 tablespoons coca cola in microwave safe bowl.
  8. Heat to boiling, then pour over 4 cups powdered sugar.
  9. When cake is done, wait a few minutes and frost with chocolate frosting while still warm.
  10. Enjoy!



Adapted from All Recipes.  If you need a little more menu inspiration, go HERE

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What Are You Making This Christmas?

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Goodness, how I love baking. 


I mean really, I love baking.  Or cooking.  Or mixing. All of it.


If it were up to me I’d wake up bright and early every day and hang out in my kitchen all day long.


And my pantry would magically always be filled with every ingredient I needed so I’d never need to run to the store.


And, I wouldn’t have to head to the gym before and after a baking session to make up for sneaking a bite. Or two. Ahem ;)


(I’m planning to go first thing in the morning. Promise.)


Here’s a peek at our kitchen tonight . . .


My husband and son made their second batch of Chex Mix this year ~ they doubled the worcestershire and cayenne pepper and it really was the best it’s ever been!


Then I made some Christmas Crack (so good, but I almost completely made a mess because the goo in the middle started to bubble over in my oven – make sure to keep a larger pan underneath your baking sheet to be sure to catch any extra goo!)



A quick batch of marshmallow fudge (y’all, this is the easiest fudge recipe you’ll ever make, and my youngest informed me tonight that I needed to teach her how to make it when she grew up herself.)


Some Oreo Truffles – I’ve never made these before, but used this super handy Black & Decker Food Chopper that I’d bought this summer when it was on sale (it was just $10 then!) I love love love this little gadget and it made mixing these up a breeze!


A few M&M Pretzel Bites - I forgot to get the Christmas colors and we used the red and green ones to give away to other people ~ so we’re stuck with the orange and blue ones for Christmas at our house! ;)


And for breakfast tomorrow morning I went ahead and made our favorite Almost Homemade Cinnamon Rolls trying out Jen from Balancing Beauty & Bedlam’s fancy Christmas Tree idea. Mine aren’t nearly as pretty as hers, but I’m pretty sure my family won’t care! ;) I’ll try to take a picture in the morning to let you see how they fluff up.


So, what are you baking for Christmas? Leave a comment to share (and a link to the recipe if you’d like!) I’d love to hear!

 If you need a little more menu inspiration, go HERE


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How To Make Perfect Peanut Butter Fudge

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Here’s how to make perfect peanut butter fudge.

You can thank me later. ;)


Perfect Peanut Butter Fudge
  • 4 cups white sugar
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup margarine
  • 1 (12 fluid ounce) can evaporated milk
  • 1 (7 ounce) jar marshmallow creme
  • 1 (16 ounce) jar peanut butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Grease 9×13 baking dish.
  2. Combine brown sugar, white sugar, butter & evaporated milk in saucepan over medium heat.
  3. Bring mixture to boiling while stirring constantly.
  4. Once boiling, boil constantly for seven minutes without stirring.
  5. Remove from heat, and stir in marshmallow creme until blended in and melted.
  6. Let cool for 15 minutes, then add in peanut butter and vanilla, stir until smooth.
  7. Spread in pan, and let cool.
  8. Cut into squares, and refrigerate to keep firm. YUMMMMMM!



Looking for more special recipes to try this Christmas?  Here are a few of our favorites . . .

Need a little more menu inspiration? go HERE

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Slow Cooker Emergency Chicken Alfredo

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Okie dokie folks. This is the easiest-ever-don’t-even-think-about-it-meal-when-you-just-really-need-dinner-tonight.


Nothing fancy.


Just emergency food. ;)


In case you’re like me and occasionally have those days too.


This Monday (yes, Cyber Monday would be the one), I came down with the all out worst stomach bug I have ever had in my life. 


We’re talking, so bad my husband stayed home from work Monday to keep our kids.


That bad.


(Since my kids were off school Monday, he figured he’d better stay home to make sure I didn’t die under their watch. I think he was really afraid that might  happen.) Thankfully I had a few helpers here to keep up deal hunting a bit, and I posted deals as I could from my laptop in bed.


It wasn’t pretty.


Tuesday came though, and thankfully I felt oh-so-much-better, but at lunchtime I realized my family would be expecting a meal for dinner that night.


I took a look around my pantry, freezer and fridge, noticed I happened to have my emergency-chicken-alfredo-staples on hand, and pulled out Mrs. Potts. (After of course scrubbing an extra time or two because the last thing I wanted was to pass on any germs around here!)


Mrs. Potts (again) saved the day. Dinner was served, and my family all loved it. (A tiny miracle around here!) So, if you have one of those oh-my-goodness-what-on-earth-do-I-feed-these-people-for-dinner-again-kind-of-days, this little recipe’s right here for you.


You’re welcome. ;)


Screen Shot 2014-12-03 at 1.27.16 PM

Slow Cooker Emergency Chicken (aka Slow Cooked Creamy Chicken Alfredo)
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup (can substitute with Healthy Request cream of chicken soup or try out these substitutes here – let me know if they work for you!)
  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast (frozen is fine ~ that’s what I used)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 packet Italian Seasoning mix (can also make your own at home)
  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • pasta (whatever type your family likes)
  1. Place chicken, Italian seasoning, water, and soup in slow cooker.
  2. Give it a quick stir, then cook on low 5-6 hours or high 3-4 hours.
  3. 30 minutes before serving, shred chicken and add in cream cheese. Give it another good stir to mix everything well.
  4. Cook pasta according to package directions.
  5. Once cream cheese is heated through and everything mixes together, give it one more stir.
  6. Serve chicken and sauce over cooked pasta, top with parmesan cheese and parsley if you want to be fancy.
  7. Enjoy. ;)


Here are the best sales I see to watch for this week (as of 12/3/14):

  • Ronzoni Pasta BOGO $1.58 at Publix, use $1/2 Garden Delight
  • Kroger Pasta $1
  • Campbell’s Condensed Soup $1 at Kroger, use $.40/2 coupon from the 10/12 SmartSource insert
  • Tyson Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast (Frozen) 32 oz $6.79 at Publix or Fresh Publix Greenwise Chicken Breast Antibiotic Free $3.49/lb.
  • Kroger Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast 3 lb. bag $7.99 (will vary by region)
  • Kroger Cream Cheese $1.25


Thanks to I Heart Publix for the coupon matchups. If you need a little more menu inspiration, go HERE

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Slow Cooker Broccoli Cheese Soup

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Oh my.


This Broccoli Cheese Soup at home is divine. 


Better than Panera.


And Mrs. Potts will do most of the work for you.


You’re welcome. ;)


My husband and I loved this recipe, my 14 year old liked it, and my 11 and 7 year old actually ate it. Success? :)


Here’s how to get a yummy warm & toasty meal on the table at your home too (and I highly recommend you include a side of homemade bread. Perfection!)


Slow Cooker Broccoli Cheese Soup


  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 1/2 cups diced yellow onion
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 6 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 12 oz cans evaporated milk
  • 5 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 5 cups broccoli florets (I substituted with frozen broccoli which I cooked in the microwave and drained well - to make sure there wasn't too much liquid I reduced the chicken broth by 1/2 cup as frozen veggies are usually packed with water when they cook)
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 12 oz sharp shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 oz parmesan cheese


  1. In large skillet melt butter over medium heat.
  2. Saute onions until they become transparent, about 3-4 minutes.
  3. Add garlic and flour, as well as a little salt and pepper to flavor.
  4. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
  5. Using a whisk, slowly add in evaporated milk and stir well to make it smooth.
  6. Cook mixture until it begins to thicken, then pour into slow cooker with chicken broth, broccoli & thyme.
  7. Cover and cook 2 1/2 - 3 hours on high or 6 hours on low.
  8. Turn heat off (or warm if you have that option), and add in heavy cream, shredded cheddar cheese and parmesan cheese.
  9. Season with salt and pepper and enjoy!



Here are the best sales I see to watch for this week (as of 11/19/14):

  • Broccoli Buy One Get One Free at Giant Eagle and Food Lion
  • Kroger Shredded Cheese $1.99
  • Swanson Chicken Broth $.50 at Dollar General (14 oz) or $1.89 at Walmart & Target (32 oz), use $1/2 Swanson coupon from the 10/5 SmartSource insert or $1/2 Swanson printable coupon

Recipe adapted from Cooking Classy – thanks for a wonderful recipe!  Thanks also to I Heart Publix for the coupon matchups. If you need a little more menu inspiration, go HERE

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