{Simple} How To Cook Whole Chicken

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how to cook whole chicken

How to cook whole chicken

 

 

Oh my stars, this is some heaven-sent chicken!  I just can’t miss an opportunity to sing the praises of a whole cooked chicken when it’s on sale. :)  This week our local Fresh Thyme Market has them on sale for $.99/lb, and I also noticed them priced at $1.09/lb at Costco yesterday.

 
 

So why sing the praises of a whole chicken?  Because it’s CHEAP!!!  And if you grab a few now and cook them all up, you can freeze the meat to use in casseroles and soups and on salads and well, just about everywhere.  But the best part is you’ll drastically cut your cooking time when you’re in a hurry to make a recipe; just pull out your frozen cooked chicken and let it thaw, and your life (at least in the kitchen!) will be so much easier.

 

So, if you’ve never done it before, this is your week to cook a whole chicken!!!  (Think of it as homemade Perdue Short Cuts made right in your kitchen at a fraction of the cost. You’re welcome!)

 

I’ve tried various methods before and my favorite one has always been this simple slow cooker method, but this oven roasted chicken wins my favorite one every time.

Oven Roasted Chicken

Ingredients

  •  2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp. white pepper we didn’t have any so I omitted this one
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • one onion, quartered
  • one whole chicken (about 4 lbs)

 

Directions

  • Mix together for eight ingredients.  Set aside.
  • Rinse chicken and pat dry.
  • Rub seasoning mixture into chicken on all sides.
  • Add onion into breast cavity.
  • Place chicken in plastic bag or wrap with plastic wrap, over night or at least 4-6 hours.
  • Preheat oven to 250 when ready to cook.
  • Remove chicken from plastic wrap, place in roasting pan.
  • Bake uncovered for 3 1/2 – 4 hours, until internal temperature is 180 degrees.  Let chicken stand for ten minutes before carving. 

 

 

Here are the best sales I see to watch for this week (as of 2/25/15):

Whole Chicken prices

  • Costco $1.09/lb
  • Fresh Thyme $.99/lb
  • Bi Lo $.99/lb
  • Publix Greenwise $1.49/lb (ends 2/25/15, or 2/24/15 in some areas)
  • Winn Dixie $.99/lb

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

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4 Ingredient Slow Cooker Chicken Crack Dip

4 Ingredient Chicken Crack Dip
Looking for more penny pinched recipes? Here you go!

 

I’ve been trying to clear out my fridge and freezer the last few days. and when I saw an abundance of frozen chicken and Philly cream cheese in my fridge (paired with this recipe I noticed on Pinterest), I decided I couldn’t pass this recipe up! 

 

While I made it to eat on slider buns, once I tasted the chicken I decided it wasn’t quite the right flavor on a slider bun.

 

But, pair it with some nachos and it makes one amazing dip ~ my husband loved it (especially when he mixed in a little salsa too.) So, for dinner we enjoyed these chips and dip, some fresh fruit, and carrots with ranch dipping sauce.

 

All for less than ten minutes of effort. Success! 

chickencrackdip

Here’s the recipe so you can try it out too . . .

4 Ingredient Slow Cooker Chicken Crack Dip

Ingredients

  • 2.5 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 8oz blocks cream cheese
  • 1 packet dry ranch seasoning
  • 8 oz bacon, cooked
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese (optional)
  • tortilla chips

Directions

  1. Put chicken, cream cheese and ranch seasoning in your slow cooker
  2. Let cook 6-8 hours on low.
  3. Shred chicken with fork, stir in bacon and cheddar cheese
  4. Serve with tortilla chips – yum!

 

Here are the best sales I see to watch for this week (as of 2/18/15):

  • Boneless skinless chicken breast on sale $1.99-$2.49/lb at Kroger (depends on your region)
  • Perdue Frozen Chicken Breast on sale $7.99 32 oz bag at Kroger, use $1/1 coupon from the Publix Game Day Favorites Booklet, Stack with $1/1 Perdue coupon from the 1/25 Smart Source insert

 

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

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Not Quite Homemade Heart Shaped Cinnamon Rolls

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valentinecinnamonrolls

 

These cinnamon rolls are my kid’s favorites. 

 

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In fact, last night as I was baking them, my eleven-year-old sweet girl informed me that she expected me to make them for all of the guests on her wedding day. 

 

Yikes.

 

(She’s also planning on having these best ever chocolate chip cookies at her wedding. Clearly she thinks I’ll have nothing to do except bake before her wedding day!) ;)

 

Turning these into their favorite Valentine treat is simple enough, and my family (of course) loved the results. 

 

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Here’s how to get started . . . 

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Let dough thaw out for at least a few hours.

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After dough is thawed, roll out into rectangle (or, something that loosely resembles a rectangle) ;)

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Spread 5 tablespoons of softened butter out on dough. Then sprinkle with 5 tablespoons sugar.

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Next sprinkle 3 teaspoons of cinnamon over dough.

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Then, starting with the shorter end of the dough, roll dough up (if making regular cinnamon rolls, just roll them up completely)

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To make heart shaped cinnamon rolls, roll the other half up until both ends come together.

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Using a pizza cutter or sharp knife, slice into about 1 1/2″ rolls (I forgot to take a picture after making the heart shaped ones, so this is just the regular cinnamon roll)

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Place in greased baking dish and allow to rise, 1-2 hours.
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Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes, cinnamon rolls will rise more while baking. img_1129

Add a little butter or margarine once they’re baked if you’d like, and top with frosting.

 

Perfect!

valentinecinnamonrolls

Almost Homemade Cinnamon Rolls

Cinnamon Roll Ingredients

  1. 1 loaf frozen bread dough, thawed, not risen (I usually use Rhodes dough or the Kroger brand)
  2. 5 tablespoons margarine or butter
  3. 5 tablespoons sugar
  4. 3 teaspoons cinnamon

 

Frosting Ingredients

  1. 1 cup powdered sugar
  2. 1 tablespoon milk
  3. 1/2 tsp. vanilla

 

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Roll out dough to about 12×14 inches. Spread butter evenly on top of dough.
  3. Sprinkle with sugar and then with cinnamon.
  4. Roll up jelly-roll style, tightly pinching ends so sugar/cinnamon doesn’t fall out. (If making heart shaped cinnamon rolls, roll to the middle from both ends to make the heart shape.)
  5. With a sharp knife cut into 1-inch sections and lay in prepared pan.
  6. Allow dough to rise until almost double its size (around 1–2 hours, they will also rise quite a bit while baking.  Meanwhile, prepare frosting (see recipe below).  To help them rise a little more quickly, I put them in the oven with the light on, and place a bowl of water on the rack beneath them to help moisture stay in the oven.
  7. Bake in greased round or square pan at 350 for for 15 to 20 minutes. Top will be golden brown when done.  Allow rolls to cool slightly while preparing topping.  (If you’re like me, you may want to spread a little butter or margarine on top to make them nice and glossy!)

 

Frosting

  1. Mix powdered sugar and milk to make a thick paste.
  2. Add more milk or powdered sugar as needed.
  3. Spread on still-warm rolls, allowing the frosting to melt slightly. Serve warm.

 

Need a little more menu inspiration? Go HERE

 

 

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4 Ingredient Slow Cooker Ranch Chicken Tacos

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ranch chicken tacos

We had these Chicken Ranch Tacos on the menu plan last week, and they were a huge hit! Not only were they great for taco night, we used the leftover chicken to make chicken tacos on Super Bowl Sunday.

 

And my husband loved them. Seriously, loved them.

nachos

One day slow cooking for two nights of yummy meals? Yes, please!

 

Apparently this recipe has been around awhile (several folks on Facebook mentioned they’d tried it before), but it was completely new to me. I keep thinking that surely I’ve made every single variation of chicken in the slow cooker on the planet, but this was a new one for me! Here’s how to get dinner finished in your home this week . . .

4 Ingredient Chicken Ranch Tacos

Ingredients

  1. 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast
  2. 1 packet taco seasoning (or make your own)
  3. 1 packet ranch seasoning (also try making your own if you’d like)
  4. 1 cup chicken broth
  5. taco fixin’s – tortillas, lettuce, tomato, sour cream, salsa

Directions

  • Place chicken breast in slow cooker.
  • Mix together taco seasoning, ranch seasoning and chicken broth.
  • Pour chicken broth mixture over chicken.
  • Cook on low 5 hours.
  • Shred chicken and cook another 30 minutes on low
  • Serve over tacos – can also use to make chicken nachos

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Here are the best sales I see to watch for this week (as of 2/3/15):

  • Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast $1.99/lb at Food Lion & Harris Teeter or $2.50/lb at Meijer
  • Or check out Target with the $5/$20 Target meat coupon
  • Ole Flour tortillas $1 at Kroger
  • Ortega Taco Seasoning $.79 at Giant Eagle or BOGO at Harris Teeter or Bi Lo, use $1/3 coupon from the 1/25 SmartSOurce insert
  • McCormick Taco Seasoning $.53 at Walmart, use $.50/2 coupon from the 1/25 Red Plum insert

Recipe adapted from Housewife Electic. 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: 2/2/15

menuplan

Here’s this week’s menu plan and grocery shopping list! I 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

 

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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
  • whole chicken
  • 1 lb dry navy beans
  • 1 can chopped green chili
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 package taco seasoning (or make your own)
  • cheddar cheese (for salad and topping chili)
  • 1 can kidney beans
  • ranch dressing
  • tomato
  • green onions
  • frozen bread or pizza dough (I’ll use Rhodes and save a loaf to make cinnamon rolls Saturday morning)
  • 16 oz sour cream (to top chili and for calzones)
  • 6 oz lean honey ham
  • 4 oz swiss cheese (low fat if you’re watching calories)
  • 14.5 oz tortilla chips

Side Dish Extras

  • potatoes
  • canned, fresh or frozen veggies
  • enough salad greens for taco salad and side dish
  • fresh fruit

Pantry Staples

  • salt
  • pepper
  • sage
  • rosemary
  • cumin
  • oregano
  • paprika
  • garlic powder (recipe for crispy roasted chicken also calls for caraway seeds, fennel seeds and coriander seeds but since I don’t have them I will probably leave them off!)
  • minced garlic
  • flour
  • onion powder
  • vegetable oil

 

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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{One Skillet} Pizza Pasta Casserole

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Pizza Pasta Casserole

Don’t you just love when dinner comes together (easily?) On Monday my kids were all home for a snow day, so I decided to start dinner early and have it all out on the counter for everyone to grab before heading out for our weeknight activities.

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(I was pretty impressed with myself for being so organized.) ;)

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I’m telling you what folks, following a menu plan will make your life so much easier. Even though we swapped around the days a bit this week on our plan, it’s just such a little gift knowing that everything I need to feed my family for the week is in the kitchen.

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Not only do we get yummy recipes just about every night, I’m not worrying each afternoon at 5 o’clock what dinner is because we have a plan in place!

 

Success.

 

Here’s what you’ll need to do to get started ~ you could easily make this all in one pot if you’d like, or if you don’t have a skillet that’s oven safe just mix it all on your stovetop and then pour it into a casserole dish. Either way you’ll have dinner done. 

 

{And, did I mention it’s delicious?}

 

Yum!

 

One Skillet Pizza Pasta Casserole

Ingredients

  • 8 oz dry pasta (we used bowtie)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 8 oz Italian sausage
  • 1/2 cup pepperoni
  • 15 oz tomato sauce (I used pizza sauce because that’s what was in the pantry this week, but it was a little on the thick side – next time probably would use spaghetti sauce)
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp basil
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella
  • fresh parsley (optional)

Directions

  • Heat oven to broil.
  • Cook pasta according to package directions.
  • In oven-save skillet, brown Italian sausage in olive oil, about 3-5 minutes  until cooked through. Drain fat.
  • Add in 1/4 cup pepperoni and cook for 1 minute.
  • Then add in tomato sauce, oregano, basil, garlic powder and season with salt and pepper. Cook 1-2 minutes until heated through.
  • Stir in cooked pasta and cook an additional minute or two until everything is thoroughly warmed.
  • Sprinkle mozzarella and additional 1/4 cup pepperoni on top and remove from heat.
  • Broil in oven for 1-2 minutes, until cheese is melted and golden.
  • Enjoy!

 

Here are the best sales I see to watch for this week (as of 1/28/15):

  • Barilla Pasta $1.16 at Target, get $5 Target gift card when you buy 10 participating items use $1/3 Barilla Pasta
  • Buitoni Pasta BOGO $2.50 at Publix, or Dreamfields Pasta $1.66 use $1/1 Dreamfields Pasta
  • Barilla Pasta $.89 at Kroger when you buy 6 participating Mega Sale items use $1/3 Barilla Pasta
  • Kraft Cheddar Cheese $2.49 when you buy 6 participating Mega Sale items use $1/2 Kraft cheese
  • Hormel Pepperoni $2.49 when you buy 6 participating Mega Sale items use $1/2 Hormel Pepperoni
  • Sargento Cheese BOGO at Publix $2.49, use $.50/2 Sargento coupon from the 1/25 SmartSource insert
  • Ragu BOGO $2.79 at Publix, use $1/2 coupon from the 1/4 or 1/25 Red Plum insert

spaghetti

Looking for more easy recipes like this one? Here are a few of my favorites . . .

Recipe adapted from DamnDelicious, and thanks to I Heart Publix for some of the coupon matchups. If you need a little more menu inspiration, go HERE

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Menu Plan Monday: Week Of 1/26/15

menuplan

Here’s this week’s menu plan and grocery shopping list! I 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 2015-01-24 at 10.06.35 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
  • 8 frozen chicken breasts (one for taco night, one for chicken chili night)
  • 8 oz spicy Italian Sausage
  • 1/2 cup mini pepperoni
  • 2 packets taco seasoning (Aldi carries them for 39¢)
  • packet ranch
  • 1 can chicken broth
  • 10 flour tortillas
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • shredded cheese, tomatoes, lettuce, sour cream, fresh cilantro (toppings for chili & tacos)
  • onion
  • tortilla chips
  • 16 oz black beans
  • 16 oz kidney beans
  • 2 8 oz cans tomato sauce
  • 1 15 oz can tomato sauce
  • 10 oz package frozen corn
  • eggs
  • bacon
  • toast

 

Side Dish Extras

  • salad
  • garlic bread
  • fresh fruit

Pantry Staples

  • salt
  • pepper
  • cumin
  • olive oil
  • oregano
  • basil
  • garlic powder
  • kosher salt
  • parsley

 

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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Slow Cooker Root Beer Barbecue

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rootbeerbarbecue

 

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.

 

s.i.m.p.l.e.

 

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

3 Ingredient Pork Barbecue

Ingredients
  • 18 oz bottle barbecue sauce (we used Sweet Baby Ray’s)
  • 2 pound pork tenderloin
  • 12 oz rootbeer
Directions
  • 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.

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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!)

menuplan

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!

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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)

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  • 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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