Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Ground Beef Stew

Printable Recipe

Ground Beef Stew
1 1/2 lb ground beef
1/2 cup onion, diced
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 Tbsp flour
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
3 cups beef broth
2/3 cup half & half
4 tsp dijon mustard
2 lb unpeeled yukon gold or red potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
2 medium carrots, sliced
2 Tbsp fresh parsley or 2 tsp dried

In a large pot, brown ground beef with onion; drain. Stir in salt, pepper, and flour. Add mushrooms and cook for about 3 minutes. In a medium bowl, mix together beef broth, half & half, and dijon. Stir into beef mixture. Add potatoes and carrots. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook covered for 15 minutes, or until veggies are tender. Stir in parsley. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.

Serves 6-8

Recipe adapted from Real Mom Kitchen

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

4x Fuel Rewards on Gift Cards at Smith's (Nov. 18- Dec. 8)

For the next 3 weeks (Nov. 18- Dec. 8), Smith's is offering 4x fuel rewards on gift cards. 

If you bought a $50 gift card, you would earn 200 points which is equivalent to $.20 off per gallon of gas up to 35 gallons. When you fill up, make sure that you bring two cars to maximize your savings.

So stock up on all the gift cards that you'll need for your Christmas shopping. Or stock up on gift cards to all of your favorite restaurants. This is the perfect time to buy gift cards!

*If you live outside of Utah, check your local Kroger store to see if they're participating.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Creamy Chicken and Noodles (Crockpot)

Printable Recipe

Creamy Chicken and Noodles (Crockpot)
2 cups sliced carrots
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 tsp dried parsley
1 bay leaf
2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup water
1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 cup frozen peas
1 pkg egg noodles, cooked

In a slow cooker, place carrot, onion, parsley, and bay leaf. Place chicken on top of vegetables. In a medium bowl, stir together soup, water, thyme, salt, and pepper. Pour over chicken and vegetables. Cover and cook on low heat for about 5-6 hours. Remove chicken from slow cooker and shred. Discard bay leaf. Stir peas into mixture. Add chicken; heat through. Serve over egg noodles.

Serves 6

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Christmas at Disneyland

It's time for the holidays at Disneyland!!!

November 13- January 6

Celebrate the most wonderful time of the year at the happiest place on earth!

I love Disneyland at Christmas time. The whole park is decorated for the holidays and they have special parades and fireworks that you can only see this time of the year. You might even get to meet Santa Claus! It really is so magical. It's one of my favorite times of the year to go to Disneyland!

If you would like to plan a trip to Disneyland for the holidays (or anytime after), contact me at thetravelingcircus39@gmail.com.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Chicken Tikka Masala

If you love Indian food, you'll love this recipe. So yummy!

Printable Recipe

Chicken Tikka Masala
1 cup plain yogurt
1 Tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp black pepper
1 Tbsp fresh ginger or 1 tsp dried
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts

1 Tbsp butter
1 clove garlic, minced
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
2 tsp paprika
2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
1 cup half & half
1/4 cup chopped cilantro

Combine all ingredients for the marinade. Pour over chicken and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Cook in a large skillet or on the grill. Discard marinade. Let chicken rest for a few minutes and then cut into slices.

In a large skillet, melt butter. Add garlic and jalapeno and saute for 1 minute. Season with paprika, cumin, and salt. Stir in tomato sauce and half & half. Simmer until thick, about 20 minutes. Add chicken and simmer for 10 minutes. Serve over rice and garnish with cilantro.

Serves 6

Recipe adapted from Mel's Kitchen Cafe

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Saving Money on Christmas Shopping

It's November and you know what that means... Christmas is right around the corner!

I love Christmas! I love everything about it. The music, the lights, the parties, the treats, EVERYTHING!!! I especially love Christmas shopping and finding awesome deals. My kids know they're not getting what they want unless I can find it for a good deal. When they open their presents, they sometimes ask how much I paid for it because they know I wouldn't have bought it unless it was a good deal. They've learned to really appreciate a good deal!

So I'm going to share my tips on how to get more for your money at Christmas time. There are a lot of really great sales out there and you don't actually need to go shopping on Black Friday to get those sales.

First, decide what your budget is going to be for Christmas gifts. Then have your kids make a list of everything they want. You can make it a running list and add things and take things off because kids sometimes change their minds. Check different stores online to find out how much each item will cost and write it down on your list. I usually check Amazon, Walmart, and Target and that gives me a pretty good idea about how much each thing will cost. Then check the websites frequently to see if the price drops. If the price drops significantly, buy it. If you can get everything on your list for a lower price you'll be able to save a significant amount or maybe even get more for your money.

When the Black Friday ads come out, check the ad for each store. The ads should be coming out in a few weeks and you will be able to view them online. Decide if there's anything that is worth going shopping for on Black Friday. You might find something that's worth going to the store for but keep in mind that you might have to go early and wait in line. It also might cut into your time with your family on Thanksgiving.

If you find something in the ads that you really want, check around online. You may be able to find it for the same price before Black Friday.

Here are some things that I have learned about different stores:

Amazon is very competitive with their prices. If there is something advertised at another store, there is a good chance that Amazon will lower their prices to match it. Right now Amazon has their Countdown to Black Friday sale and you can get some awesome deals. They also have a Holiday deal page with lightning deals. If you're not familiar with this you need to check it out. I've used this multiple times and scored some amazing deals. How it works is each day there are specific items that will go on sale at certain times. The price won't be listed until the sale is live. Once it goes live, you can buy it for the sale price but the quantities are limited. I've seen things sell out in less than five minutes! If you're an Amazon Prime member you can have access to certain deals a half hour early.

I would recommend checking the Lightning Deals page every morning to see if there's anything you want. If you find something, go back to that page at the designated time and buy it. But you have to hurry because it can go quick.

Here are the links:
Lightning Deals 
Toy Lightning Deals

There are some great deals at Walmart on Black Friday but that place can be a madhouse! I know because I've been there on Black Friday! Did you know that some of the items advertised in the Black Friday ad are also sold online for the same price on Thanksgiving day? Last year I got on the Walmart website at midnight before Thanksgiving when the sales went live and I was able to get many things that I wanted without having to go to the store and fight the crowds. Just remember, the more popular items will sell out fast and if you can't get it, you might have to go to the store during the Black Friday sale.

Sometimes I feel like I have to get a little creative when I shop at Kohl's. A lot of their prices are higher but when you combine the 20-30% off coupons and the Kohl's cash, you can get some great deals. They also let you stack coupons which I think is great! Kohl's also has a rewards program Yes2You Rewards. You earn 1 point for every dollar that you spend and once you've reached 100 points, you'll get a $5 reward certificate. This is in addition to all of the other deals that they have.

Kohl's also sells a lot of things online for Black Friday prices and their sell starts a few days before Thanksgiving. So there really is no need to even go to the store. Plus, around Thanksgiving, they usually offer $15 in Kohl's Cash for every $50 you spend which is a great incentive!

Target is also very competitive with their prices. Right now they are offering free shipping on all purchases made online until Christmas. No minimum purchase required! They also have a Cartwheel app that is awesome. If you pay attention to the Carthwheel app you might be able to score some great deals. Some of their deals are available one day only so you have to go to the store early because they run out fast!

You can also shop online at Target for Black Friday. The sales usually go live at midnight before Thanksgiving.

*When shopping online don't forget to shop through Ebates and earn cashback! It's a great way to earn some extra cash. I've earned about $120 just by shopping online!
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