Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Black Friday...

Who can resist going out shopping the day after Thanksgiving? It is the shopping day of the year with outrageous sales on just about anything you could need for your home! Wanna get a sneak peak at what the deals are going to be so you can decide where to take your business on Friday? Find the ads already posted here:

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Who needs to buy cookbooks when there are lots of great free recipe sites out there. Today I am spotlighting

If you have never visited this website, you should! Signing up for an account here is ABSOLUTELY FREE!!! With your free account you can opt into their email newsletters which I always love, but you can also check a box to get a FREE magazine that comes through snail mail about five times a year. This is honestly one of my favorite magazines! I have found some of the fastest, yummiest, really awesome recipes and ideas in it, none of which are complicated or overly expensive. Obviously the recipes spotlight Kraft products, but you can substitute whatever brand is cheapest no problem. If you click on "food and family archive" you can look at previous magazines and see for yourself what a little treasure this is. Though the recipes and magazines are all available online, it is nice to have the hard copy come to your home for excellent bathroom or car reading. :)

Another reason you want to sign up for this website is that it creates a recipe box for you so you can save recipes that you come across that you want to try. (It's always hard to try and find them later!)

Don't forget to click on the "Dinner" tab while you are there. Here you will find a link to "Budget recipes" as well as "Meals in Minutes". Additionally, there is a neat little feature where you can type up to three ingredients that you have on hand and it will find you a recipe.

All in all, it is a well put together website. I highly you recommend you check it out!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Recommended by readers...

Here are a couple of cool money-saving websites that have been recommended by readers. Check them out!
recommended by Kristen in Florida
recommended by Ruthanne in Utah & Claudia in California

Thanks for sharing ladies! If you have a website or tip that you would like to share, just send an email to frugalityville[at]gmail[dot]com.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Ground Beef...

Ground beef can be an inexpensive meat... (you can get it on sale for less than $2/pound), but what can you do with it besides spaghetti & hamburgers???

My son is a VERY picky eater, but he has labeled this recipe "his favorite" which surprises me because it is a mish mash of ingredients... I have to admit though, the flavor is to die for!

If you need a new, CHEAP recipe for ground beef (made with ingredients that often come on sale), try my VERY fast and easy version of Shepherds pie, an old English favorite. This makes quite a lot... you will definitely have leftovers if you are feeding a family of 4. (And my family includes two hungry teenagers!)

(Reminder: I never measure or write recipes down... so you may have to adjust seasonings to taste.)

1 1/2 - 2 pounds of ground beef
2 TBSP Onion powder
1 TBSP Italian seasoning
2 cups frozen peas
6 TBSP brown gravy powder mix (or 2 small pkgs)
1 1/2 - 2 cups hot water
*1 box of Betty Crocker Sour Cream & Chive mashed potatoes
8-12 oz shredded cheese

Spray a 13x9 glass pan with cooking spray. In a large skillet, brown the ground beef till cooked well. Drain off excess fat. (If I have bought ground beef with a higher percentage fat, I like to run the ground beef under hot water in a strainer after cooking to remove as much fat as I can, then return the meat to the pan and cook for a minute or two to cook off any additional water.)

Stir in the onion powder, Italian seasoning and peas. Let simmer on med-high while you move on to the next step.

In a small bowl, whisk together the hot water and gravy powder till there are no lumps. Slowly pour the mixture into your ground beef while stirring. This mixture will thicken quickly, so keep stirring. (If the sauce seems a little thick, add a little more hot water and stir.)

Pour ground beef mixture into the prepared pan, sprinkle with 1/2 of the shredded cheese and set aside.

The box of potatoes has two packages in it. Prepare both of them according to the directions on the box. Spread the cooked potatoes over the ground beef and layer of cheese, top with remaining cheese, and bake at 425 for about 20 mins.

Serve with salad and rolls on the side. :)

*If you want to go the extra mile on this recipe, you can make homemade mashed potatoes from scratch.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

This weeks good buys...

Another great week for meat if you missed out last week. For me though, the item I will stock up on is the Kroger Cheese at Smiths. It ends up $3/pound. VERY good deal.

These are a few items listed in this weeks Ad's for the West Jordan, Utah area that (in my opinion) are a pretty good deal even without coupons. (If you have coupons, you could save even more!) You do need a preferred savings/fresh value card for Albertsons and Smiths to get these prices.

As far as I know prices are good until Tuesday Nov 18th, 2008. Please check with your local store to confirm prices and availability.


  • Red Seedless Grapes $0.98/pound
  • Shoppers Value Whole Milk (gallon) $2.29
  • Shoppers Value Milk 2%, 1%, skim (gallon) $2.00
  • Extra Lean Ground Beef (85% lean) $1.99/pound
  • Boneless Pork Top Loin Roasts $1.99/pound
  • Hot Pockets 6/$10 (Must buy six to get this price.)
  • 10/$10 sale (mix or match), (See Albertsons AD for further details.)
  • Save $10 on your next shopping trip (coupon) when you purchase $20 or more in participating producst in a single transaction. (200 items to choose from) See ad for details.


  • Rump or Cross Rib Roast $1.99/pound
  • Tyson boneless, skinless chicken breasts or tenderloins $1.99/pound
  • Loin or Rib Pork Chops, center cut, bone-in or moist and tender slab pork spareribs (super value packs) $1.79/pound
  • Mountain Dairy 2%, 1%, Skim or Skim Royale Milk 3/$6
  • Kroger Cheese 16oz bars or shredded all varieties 2/$6 (Tip: Always buy extra sharp cheddar and you don't have to use as much in your recipes!)
  • Dole Salad 1lb bag $1.29 (selected variety)
  • Large Eggs (dozen) $1.25
  • Grandma Sycamore's bread 3/$5
  • Nature Made, Nature's bounty, flex-a-min or Disney Vitamins BUY ONE GET ONE FREE
  • $5 off 10 participating item sale (look for double yellow tags through out the store, or see your ad for details.)

(*Disclaimer: I am not responsible for any misprints by the grocery store chains OR by me. Check your mailers to confirm prices, or go online here for Smiths or here for Albertsons to look at the AD's for yourself.)

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Copy Cat Recipes...

Eating out is fun, but expensive. One thing our family enjoys doing when we are looking to cut costs is to choose copy cat restaurant recipes to make at home! You will be surprised at what you can find. When I first started I would just google particular dishes that I like. For example, type the following in google, and see what comes up:

"outback coconut shrimp copy cat recipe"

(When you do a search, always use all lower case letters to get the most results.)

There are quite a few copy cat websites out there, however, I have found one site that I kind of lean towards... it is It has an alphabetical listing that you can just browse if you want some inspiration. (My guess is you all have some favorites in mind though.)

One of the dishes we used to make quite frequently was TGI's Sizzling Chicken & Cheese with Garlic Mashed Potatoes. My kids also loved Olive Garden Night when we would make a big pan of Fettuccine Alfredo with sliced grilled chicken over the top. (Mmmmm.) Now-a-days one of our favorite things to make is our own version of Cafe Rio. (If you don't have Cafe Rio where you live, then this is one way you can enjoy it!)

Whatever your preferences, I am confident you can find SOMETHING that your family will enjoy on the good old World Wide Web. :)