grocery

FREE Ebook on Canning, Pickling, and Freezing

I see a lot of ebooks out there in the world every day that are free – if you aren’t aware of these resources, always check Amazon! A ton of ‘classics’ are free and they run a good deal of temporary promotions outside of these as well.

There’s one in particular that is being offered for a limited time. Canning, Pickling and Freezing with Irma Harding: Recipes to Preserve Food, Family, and the American Way is a book that is not only FREE right now, but one that will help you maintain some money-saving habits through the process of food preservation.

These days, canning preservation is not nearly as common as it was awhile back, but it’s an incredibly budget friendly way to maintain food.

Reviews look incredible – say that it is a must-read for canning newbies, and that the instructions make things sound super easy.

Check it out! Let us here know how you fare!

#NationalEatAHoagieDay

First things first: what is a hoagie? This term is certainly not used nation wide.

According to my National Day Calendar:

The hoagie consists of a meats, cheeses, vegetables, sauces and seasonings on a long roll of Italian or French bread.  The hoagie goes by many names including:

  • torpedo
  • grinder
  • hero sandwich
  • Italian sandwich
  • submarine sandwich
  • sub

“Hoggies” was a nickname for Italian workers at the Hog Island shipyard in Philadelphia during World War I.  These workers were known for bringing giant sandwiches for lunch.  The nickname became associated with the sandwich and the spelling has been altered over time.

Hoagie is a very ‘Philly’ term, but around my parts we just call them subs 🙂

I couldn’t find any great deals from all of the sandwich chains we all love so much, so I wanted to write a little bit about how to make hoagie-making cost efficient. With a meal like this, it’s a little tough, since almost all ingredients have to be fresh, from the bread to meats and cheeses, to veggie toppings.

GoodCheapEats.com gives us some great tips on how we can maximize our sandwiches at smaller costs. Recommendations include:

  • Buying big baguettes and chopping into smaller rolls
  • Turkey clocks in at the cheapest cost deli meat
  • Grilled chicken is also an inexpensive option and allows you to use bulk-brought frozen breasts
  • Tuna – canned, cheap!
  • Egg salad – you all already know how I feel about the incredibly budget-friendly, protein-building power of the simple egg
  • Don’t overbuy on the toppings! Most sandwiches just need some lettuce, a slice or two of tomato, maybe some onion, jarred pickles – don’t overcompensate toppings wise. Buy within reason, and it’ll be enough
  • Standard condiments – mayonnaise (jar, bulk buy, or even, make your own!), mustard, pesto (make your own!) – these are all simple and one container generally lasts a long time

It’s simple, although sandwiches are so easy to pick up on the go, don’t forget that if you have enough foresight, these are the easiest of meals to make, and can be immensely cost-efficient if you make them on your own.

Enjoy celebrating #NationalEatAHoagieDay!

FREE Lindsay Olives!

What’s that food that you just….don’t like? Mine, for YEARS, was olives. I so badly wanted to like them, and wasn’t sure why I didn’t. I love other briney foods like pickles, and, as someone who tries to limit their meat intake, so many salads and veggie laden meals are filled with olives. I’m so far from a picky eater and felt, honestly, annoying, to have to ask for special orders WITHOUT olives.

I used to firmly believe in the ‘Olive Theory’ from How I Met Your Mother – no joke. The olive theory came about because Marshall, a husband in the show, hates lives, but his wife, Lily, loves them – in essence, they thought this made them a great couple – a perfect balance. Opposites attract, some may say. This was definitely the case with my husband and I – he loves olives.

Over the years, I realized that not being able to share something he loves is less fun than having ‘the perfect balance’ and I set out on a mission to like olives. As two college psycology majors, we made it happen. SummerTomato.com explains the thought process of overcoming an aversion REALLY WELL.

STEP 1: Knowing that you have a problem. Just kidding! The first step is deciding that there is value in enjoying a food you currently do not enjoy. Foods are worth discovering for taste and culture!

STEP 2: Dedicate yourself to keep trying the rejected food until you find it prepared in a way that you like. I PROMISE that there will be a way you like this, even if it is deep-fried and covered in a sauce. You’ll find one. Each time you try a new way, your taste will become more acclimated to the flavor and the aversion will dissipate.

That’s it. Keep trying! My husband swears that if you try something 22 times, then you’ll like it. Whatever the magical number is, I hit it. I can’t get enough olives now and I love every single variety in every form. One of my favorite forms is just the plain black olives, straight from the can. Does that make me crazy? I hope not.

Join me in this obsession by getting 4 FREE Lindsay Olive Products (up to $2.49 each). Unfortunately, this only works in certain states, but you are sure in luck if you live in one of them!

Wisconsin

Illinois

Michigan

Indiana

Ohio

Kentucky

Print your coupons here now! Enjoy!

TUNA LAWSUIT

In my mind, there’s two types of people: people who love tuna, and people who detest tuna. There is simply no in between. Luckily, I’m a lover. I think tuna is not only delicious, but a really easy way to get more lean protein into your everyday diet at a low cost.

Lucky for us, things are about to get even lower.

Consumerist.com gives us some background on the TUNA LAWSUIT. Two and a half years ago, a man who eats tuna filed a class action lawsuit against Starkist tuna. His allegation? The company is deliberately under-filling each can by a few tenths of an ounce. How this man even knew this is beyond my imagination, but Starkist has settled the case (without admitting fault).

Here’s where you can benefit from this:

If you’re a resident of the United States and bought at least one five-ounce can of any of these tunas from Starkist between February 19,1009 and October 31, 2014, you’re eligible to file a claim – and no, you don’t even need a receipt. It’s basically an honor code – you’re committing perjury if you file a claim and haven’t purchased Starkist tuna during that time period.

Chunk Light Tuna in Water
Chunk Light Tuna in Oil
Solid White in Water
Solid White in Oil

To file your claim, go to this hilariously accurate and blunt url: http://www.tunalawsuit.com and file your claim by November 20, 2015 – you can get $25, or a voucher for $50 worth of tuna.

I know I have definitely purchased Starkist tuna in the past 2.5 years – I’ll be collecting!

Freezer Meals of the Week!

Happy Wednesday! It seems like you all loved my first rendition of freezer meals so much last week, that it’s definitely a hot (no pun intended) topic! I’d love to share some of my other favorites as well. Freezer meals make dinner so seamless and easy and are sometimes an absolute godsend to have during a busy week.

  1. Shepherd’s Pie

WheelNDealMama has a really awesome shepherd’s pie recipe that freezes great! This meal is always a hit in our home – it’s pretty hard to deny ground meat, mashed potatoes, and shredded cheese.

shepherds_pie

Shepherd’s Pie [http://www.wheelndealmama.com/homemade-shepherds-pie-easy-freezer-meal/]

This is an all-in-one meal and these can be made individually – one for a person should definitely fill you up and hit all the food groups!

It’s super easy – toss your meat (ground beef, turkey, or chicken) into a skillet and brown with a can or bag of frozen veggies with some broth. In a freezer-safe dish (I suggest mini pie dishes so you can easily take out as many servings as you need – fun for each person to have their own pie!), toss in your mixture, top with mashed potatoes (free to make these however you please, homemade, with a mix – whatever you have time for and prefer), and cover in shredded cheese.

Cover with plastic wrap and aluminum foil and create a tight seal.

Once you’re ready to eat, place in an oven heated to 375 and cook for 45 minutes! Super simple and a crowd pleaser – always.

2) Chicken Parm Casserole

Who doesn’t love chicken parm? It’s comfort food at it’s finest and even the pickiest eaters love it. Thriving Home Blog has a great recipe for chicken parmesan casserole – which is a really fun spin on the dish. You can eat this on it’s own, or serve over pasta for a heartier meal.

chicken_parm_casserole

Chicken Parm Casserole [http://thrivinghomeblog.com/2013/07/chicken-parmesan-casserole-recipe-an-easy-freezer-meal/]

This is crazy easy – all  you do is layer a pan with 4 cups of cooked chicken (shredded or cubed), mix with your choice of marinara sauce, and top with Parmesean cheese, mozzarella, and seasoned breadcrumbs of your choice. Put the casserole together and pop in the freezer for an easy freezer meal – whenever you’re ready to enjoy it, thaw in the fridge overnight and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes. Yum!

3) Not-Meatloaf

InJohnnasKitchen gives an incredible veggie alternative to a comforting classic – meatloaf! If you’re anything like me, you love an easy meal, but not at the cost of something that makes you feel junky and gross. This is such an awesome option for an easy freezer meal.

not_meatloaf

Not-Meatloaf [http://injohnnaskitchen.com/2013/12/not-meatloaf-a-veggie-variation-twelve-months-of-healthy-eating/]

So fun – this recipe calls for all sorts of textures – celery, onions, chickpeas, oats, walnuts, and lentils – together, combined, this recipe is shockingly yummy. The recipe suggests using either one big meatloaf pan, or a pan that has the 8 mini loafs (like the above picture) – I think this is fun! Like the shepherd’s pie, this makes it even easier to defrost and heat up a single serving. Whenever you’re ready, simply bake at 375 for 55-65 minutes and allow to cool before serving.

That’s all, folks! Enjoy! I know I will 🙂

Popchips + SixFlags

A little last minute here, but wanted to make sure you guys caught wind of this! TOMORROW ONLY Popchips is running a promotion where if you bring an empty bag of Popchips to a participating Six Flags, you get 50% off of your admission.

Here’s the skinny (get it?!):

– August 5, 2015 ONLY before 3PM

– Not only do you get 50% off of your admission, but you also get a VIP wristband for the Exclusive Ride Time Event

– If you’re already inside of the park, you can purchase Popchips inside and still receive a VIP wristband for access to the event

– Promotion excludes Six Flags Over Georgia, water parks, Six Flags Mexico, and La Ronde

– Wristbands available while supplies last

Another summer day grasping for fun activities for the kids? This makes a day at a theme park affordable – and you know they’ll love it!

#NationalChocolateChipDay

I’m really not sure that there is much more of a crowd pleaser of a holiday than #nationalchocolatechipday! I can’t seem to find any deals out there for this sweet treat today, but PRO TIP: you can always get a free chocolate chip cookie at DoubleTree Hotels and at your local Public grocery store – never forget that!

Instead, I figured I’d dole out some of my favorite, inexpensive recipes involving chocolate chips.

1) Chocolate Chip Zucchini Muffins

PassionForSavings has an AWESOME recipe for chocolate chip zucchini muffins. Not only are these DELICIOUS but they are also very budget-friendly, guilt-free, and freezable! Win-win-win!

chocolate_chip_zucchini_muffins

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Muffins [http://www.passionforsavings.com/chocolate-chip-zucchini-muffins-recipe/]

All the usual suspects here (eggs, oil, sugar, brown sugar, vanilla, flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder) + chocolate chips and shredded zucchini! Mix it all up, and bake at 350 for 22-25 minutes, and you’ve got an awesome snack or breakfast – kids won’t even notice the zucchini’s there!

2) Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

You’d be hard pressed to find a sweet treat I like more than banana bread, let alone chocolate chip banana bread!

chocolate_chip_banana_bread

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread [http://tinaschic.com/2015/04/chocolate-chip-banana-bread/]

Tina’s Chic Corner makes an awesome version. All you need is some overripe bananas (I think we all seem to find ourselves with these from time to time), sugar, eggs, vanilla, flour, baking soda, salt, Greek yogurt, and chocolate chips to add to it! Mix it all up, pop in a loaf pan, bake for almost an hour, and cool before cutting. This is another recipe that you can absolutely freeze. It’s a great treat to bake for a breakfast, brunch, or even as a gift to a neighbor or friend!

3) Classic Chocolate Chip Cookie

Everyone needs a classic chocolate chip cookie recipe. I’d always prefer to not use the slice and bake kind! It’s always worth it to upgrade, and Pinch of Yum has a great version of this classic recipe – think soft and chewy (personally, my favorite kind!) These are pretty easy! I think the key here is the 8 TABLESPOONS of butter. Let’s not even pretend this one’s healthy 🙂

chocolate_chip_cookies

Chocolate Chip Cookies [http://pinchofyum.com/the-best-soft-chocolate-chip-cookies]

This recipe URGES you to not overbake these, as timing is essential for keeping these cookies soft and delicious. They cool for about 30 minutes or so. and then sink down into “dense, buttery, soft cookies” – drooling yet?

These are also freezable – make a bunch and save for occasions and desserts!

Well, I’m inspired. Let’s get baking and enjoy #nationalchocolatechipday!