Strawberry Banana Fluff Salad

Strawberry Banana Fluff Salad

This Strawberry Banana Fluff Salad is a perfect side dish for summer parties or a family get together. It’s an easy side dish to make that only takes a few minutes to cook on the stove before placing it in the fridge to set up. You do have to plan ahead and make the Jell-O the night before to allow it to set up because it needs about 6 hours in the fridge. But once that is complete, it only takes 10-15 minutes to mix all the ingredients together.

 

Strawberry Jell-O Fluff Salad

To make the Strawberry Banana Fluff Salad, in a medium pot, combine the Strawberry Jell-O and Cook and Serve Vanilla Pudding. Add the water and cook on stove until it boils. Remove from the heat and pour into a large mixing bowl. Allow to cool. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 6 hours.

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70 Foods You Can Freeze or That Don’t Freeze Well

70 foods you can freeze or that don't freeze wellThere are many good reasons to freeze foods. First, freezing food can save you money. After you grocery shop and purchase items in bulk or stock up on extra food items, freeze the items you won’t use right away so it doesn’t go to waste and you have to throw it away.

Second, it’s convenient to have a freezer full of food that you can grab for meals. Plus, it saves you from making unnecessary trips to the grocery store where you would probably spend more money.

And third, it saves you time. If you cook and prepare food in advance, you can freeze meals and snacks to pull out on busy days.

 

freeze raspberries

Before listing all of the foods you can freeze or the foods that don’t freeze well, here are food tips on how to flash freeze foods, how to prevent freezer burn and labeling food before you place it in the freezer.

 

HOW TO FLASH FREEZE FOOD:

With a bunch of food items below that you can freeze, I suggest flash freezing the food first if you don’t want pieces to clump together during the freezing process. Before flash freezing fruits or vegetables, first wash them and pat them dry. Then flash freeze foods by placing individual pieces of food separately on a baking sheet or tray and putting the tray in the freezer for 1-3 hours until the pieces are frozen. Once this is done, you’ll remove the frozen pieces from the tray and place them in resealable freezer bags, then label and put the bags in the freezer. If food will be in the freezer for a longer period of time, then wrap it with aluminum foil or plastic wrap and put it in the freezer bags.

 

HOW TO PREVENT FREEZER BURN:

To prevent freezer burn, you’ll want to minimize the food’s exposure to air by using freezer bags or containers. Make sure to push out any excess air from the freezer bags before sealing them. If you are freezing baked goods or meats, wrap them in aluminum foil twice and then place them in freezer bags. To freeze casseroles, read this tip here so you don’t have to put your good casserole dishes in the freezer for months or use aluminum baking tins. Wrapping and storing food correctly will prevent freezer burn.

 

LABEL ALL FOOD:

Be sure to label any freezer bag or container you place in the freezer with the name of the item, the date, quantity of food if applicable (for example, 2 cups of shredded chicken), and any cooking instructions. You might think you’ll remember what’s in the bag or container, but once it’s frozen it looks different and it is hard to tell what it is. Trust me, just label everything.

 

how to freeze strawberries

Here are 70 foods you can freeze or that don’t freeze well:

 

FOODS YOU CAN FREEZE:

Bacon Bits — Freeze homemade bacon bits that you can later use to sprinkle on top of baked potatoes or in soups.

Bananas — When bananas become overly ripe don’t throw them out. Peel and put them into a freezer bag, then label and freeze. You can use them for banana bread, muffins or smoothies.

Berries — Blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries can make delicious smoothies or can be used in baked goods like muffins. Flash freeze the berries first so they don’t clump together during the freezing process (see above how to flash freeze food).

Bread – Buy extra loaves of bread on sale and freeze them. If you make homemade bread, slice it first before freezing.

Sweet Breads — Freeze loafs of sweet breads such as banana bread or zucchini bread. To freeze sweet breads, wrap them in plastic wrap and then a heavy tinfoil and put them in a freezer bag.

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Creamy Tuscan Garlic Chicken

Creamy Tuscan Garlic ChickenThis Tuscan Garlic Chicken is my new favorite chicken recipe. It has a creamy garlic sauce with spinach and dried tomatoes that is absolutely delicious. And when you place the chicken and sauce over pasta it tastes like something you would eat from a restaurant. Yum!

This dish takes about 30 minutes to make. And to make it even better, my family loved it and wanted second helpings. This is definitely a recipe you’ll want to add to your recipe collection.

Creamy Tuscan Garlic Chicken

Here is how to make the Creamy Tuscan Garlic Chicken. In a large sauce pan, heat olive oil. Then cook the sliced chicken on medium-high heat for 3-5 minutes on each side until the center is no longer pink. Remove chicken from pan and set it aside on a dish. Using the same sauce pan, add the heavy cream, chicken broth, garlic powder, Italian seasoning and Parmesan cheese. Whisk the ingredients together until it begins to thicken.

 

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How to Save Money Purchasing Meat in Bulk

How to Save Money Purchasing Meat in BulkOne way to save money on meat is to purchase it in bulk when it’s on sale. Savory Butcher sells fresh, high-quality meats by the case in bulk at affordable prices, and they deliver the meat straight to where you live. The meat comes directly from the farm in refrigerated trailers and into the trunk of your vehicle. By buying meat in bulk, it brings the prices down 30-50% less than the price of meat at the grocery store.

For those of you who want to try Savory Butcher, you can get $5 off your first order by clicking the link here.

You can reserve a case of meat from Savory Butcher for just $10, which is then applied to your full balance. Choose from chicken breasts, organic chicken, chicken thighs, bacon, ground beef, beef box, steak box, and smoked ham. All of these come in bulk cases, which saves us money because we are buying in bulk.

Bonesless Skinless Chicken Breasts Savory Butcher

Savory Butcher Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts

One of the products I order regularly is the chicken. Savory Butcher has fresh boneless chicken breasts that are untrimmed for $1.79 lb. That’s a great deal! Recently, I ordered the fresh trimmed boneless chicken breasts for $1.99 lb (right now its $2.19 lb) because the chicken comes fully trimmed and ready for me to place into freezer bags or to make meals. This saves me time because I’m not trimming the fat off the chicken. However, if you want to save money, then definitely order the untrimmed chicken breasts. Both are high-quality meats.

 

Savory Butcher How It Works

I recorded a video to show the process of how Savory Butcher works and how easy it is to use. Check out the video below.

 

 

If you can’t see the video, head over to my YouTube Channe here to watch the video.

Here is how Savory Butcher works:

  • First, head over to Savory Butcher’s site and choose the location that is closest to you where the refrigerated trailer will be delivering the meat. They are expanding to more areas, so check if they deliver to an area near you. If they aren’t delivering in your area then become a community leader to get Savory Butcher out where you live.
  • Next “Reserve” the meat product you want to purchase and add any other meats you want to your cart.
  • Then checkout. Your case of meat will be reserved for $10, which is then applied to your full balance.
  • Drive to the location you chose on the specific date and time listed to pick up your meat. When you drive up to the refrigerated trailer, they will put the meat directly into the trunk of your vehicle for you.
  • The meat comes in bulk cases. Ordering in bulk is a great way to save money on meat. If you feel a case of meat is too much for your family, then go in on this deal with a family or friend, and split up the meat between both of you.

 

What ways do you save money when purchasing meat?

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Green Chili Pulled Pork Enchiladas

Green Chili Pulled Pork EnchiladasThese Green Chili Pork Enchiladas are so creamy and delicious, and the pork is so tender from cooking all day. You’ll need to plan ahead to put the pork in the slow cooker early in the day, or plan a day or two prior to when you want the enchiladas to cook the pork. Then put the shredded pork in the fridge or freezer until the day you are ready to make the enchiladas.

To cook the pork, use cooking spray to grease the inside of a slow cooker. Add the pork tenderloin. Then in a small bowl, whisk together garlic cloves, chicken broth, chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper. Pour over the pork tenderloin. Cover and cook it on low for 5-7 hours. Remove the pork from slow cooker and take out 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid to use for the green chili sauce. Shred the pork using two forks, and season with additional salt and pepper if desired.

Since you are already cooking one pork, think about cooking an extra pork tenderloin, shredding it and freezing it so you have it on hand to make these enchiladas the next month too.  You’ll also want to take an extra 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid and freeze that too in a re-sealable freezer bag. This will save you some meal prep time, which makes dinnertime easier.

 

Pulled Pork Chiladas with Creamy Green Chili Sauce [Read more…]

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How to Use a Cash Envelope System & How Our Family Budgets

Cash Envelopes

 

Holding cash in an envelope

Using cash is an important part of controlling your spending. It’s not only a system for people trying to get out of debt, but it’s also for everyone because it really makes you think more about your spending.

A cash budget never lets you overspend because once the money is gone, it’s gone. In order to make this work, stop using credit cards and stash the credit cards where it’s hard to get to them. You could also place your credit cards in a Ziploc bag and freeze them in water.

 

envelopes with cash

WHAT IS THE CASH ENVELOPE SYSTEM?

The cash envelope system divides your spending into small categories or budgets. And each category has its own envelope to help you manage your money better and help you intentionally think about how you’re spending your money. Having to hand cash to a cashier really does make you think twice about impulse buys. And setting aside money in an envelope for larger expenses helps relieve the burden when the bill comes due.

To begin using a cash envelope system, start by making a list of all your expenses and then decide which categories to make cash only. With your monthly bills, you can continue to have those deducted from your bank account. Here is a list of cash only categories you could have:

  • Groceries
  • Clothing
  • Eating Out
  • Entertainment
  • Hair Cuts/ Beauty
  • Doctor and Dentist Visits/Medicine
  • Miscellaneous Spending
  • Home Repairs
  • Vacations
  • Christmas
  • Car Insurance/Other Insurance

 

cash envelopes

HOW MUCH CASH TO TAKE OUT?

In order to determine how much cash you need to take out of each paycheck, take the total monthly amount for each category and divide it by two if you get paid every two weeks or divide it by four weeks if you get paid weekly. For instance, we have a monthly grocery budget of $400, and we get paid twice a month. If I divide $400 by two that’s $200 that we take out per pay check to use on groceries.

Additionally, break the cash down into weekly spending. For instance, if I pull $200 from each paycheck for two weeks of groceries and if I were to go to the store weekly, then I would only allot myself $100 per week to spend at the grocery store. That way I still have money to spend on groceries each week and I won’t come up short.

Here is another example. If your car insurance is $700 per year and you only receive the bill once a year, then in order to determine how much money to take out each paycheck, divide $700 by 12 months, which comes out to be about $58 per month. If you get paid twice a month, then you divide the $58 by two, which means you need to take out $29 per paycheck and set it aside in an envelope or bank account so you have the money to pay for car insurance when it comes due.

Once you decide the categories and determine how much cash will go into each envelope, then go to the bank and withdraw the cash each time you deposit your paycheck. Then place the cash in each category envelope. I don’t use anything fancy, just some blank envelopes that are located by my desk, and I write the category on the outside of the envelope.

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Cranberry Scones

Cranberry SconesThese Cranberry Scones are light and flaky and packed with dried cranberries. My family loves it when I make these for breakfast or as a snack. I also like to make these as a Valentine’s breakfast. On Valentine’s, instead of cutting them into triangles, I turn them into heart scones using a heart cookie cutter.

To make the Cranberry Scones, start by preheating oven to to 400 degrees. In a mixing bowl, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Grate frozen butter into flour mixture using the large holes of a grater. Then use the mixer to mix in the butter. Add in cranberries. In a small bowl, combine sour cream and an egg until smooth. Stir sour cream mixture into flour mixture and mix until dough forms.

 

Cranberry Scones Dough Rolled Out

Gather the dough into a ball and place on a lightly floured surface. Use a rolling pin to flatten the dough into a 7- to 8-inch circle about ¾-inch thick. Sprinkle the top with 1 teaspoon of sugar.

 

 

Cranberry Scones Cut Into 8 Triangles

Use a sharp knife to cut dough into 8 triangles.

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Tropical Green Smoothie

Tropical Green SmoothieYears ago, I was not interested in trying a green smoothie. I thought that green smoothies wouldn’t taste good and that they would taste gross, especially with spinach in it. After talking with a few people who did drink green smoothies and loved them, I figured it wouldn’t hurt to at least give it a try. I made a bunch of different green smoothie recipes, and I’ll be honest, there were some we liked, and there were some we didn’t like. After trying out multiple green smoothie recipes, this Tropical Green Smoothie is by far my favorite and my family’s favorite. My kids regularly ask if I will make this green smoothie and if they can help pour the ingredients into the blender. It’s so easy to make and it’s only four ingredients! And what I love most is that it gives us more greens and fruit in our diet.

When making green smoothies, I highly suggest that you invest in a good blender that will blend up the spinach really fine. My husband gave me a Ninja Blender as a Christmas gift, and it’s been a really good blender. I know people who have a Blendtec Blenders and they are really good, high-quality blenders, but the Ninja Blender was more affordable for us and it works great and blends the spinach up into tiny, fine pieces.

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The Best Light & Fluffy Homemade Biscuits

The Best Light & Fluffy BiscuitsMy mother made these homemade biscuits regularly when I was a child, and I just love them. They are light and fluffy and taste wonderful with some butter and a drizzle of honey or jam on top. And these homemade biscuits are quick and easy to make. I usually make them when our family has soup for dinner. Then we either take a biscuit and dip it in our soup, or eat it on the side with some honey. By the way, you’ll want to check out these 12 Favorite Soup Recipes that my family loves because they are all really good recipes too.

 

The Best Biscuits on a pan [Read more…]

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One Pan Garlic Parmesan Pasta

One Pan Garlic Parmesan PastaThis One Pan Garlic Parmesan Pasta is a delicious dinner and it’s an easy recipe. I love that you place all the ingredients into a pot after you saute the garlic, and then you let it simmer for 20 minutes until done. Serve it with some bread and a side of vegetables and dinner is on the table.  To change up the recipe, you could also add cooked chicken to the top to make it a garlic Parmesan chicken pasta dish. Here is how to make the recipe:

garlic parmesan pasta

Garlic Parmesan Pasta Easy Meal

Garlic Parmesan Pasta

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