Friday, February 18, 2011

Menu Planning with the MARTIN’S Ad

Menu planning and saving money really can go hand-in-hand.  It is important to realize that you can still enjoy some of your family’s favorite meals by menu planning with a sales flyer, you just need to be flexible. 

I am including ideas and recipes for four meals for the week.  As I’ve mentioned before, I have found that I really only cook on average four meals a week and that we end up having at least one left-over night, one meal out, and something easy like homemade pizza.

Have you had a chance to try out any of the previous recipes I have shared? My mom tried the roast pork recipe with a pork roast she had in her freezer.  She told me she made it in her crockpot with a jar of the applesauce I had made in the fall and that it turned out great.

Pot Roast in the Slow Cooker:

I have to admit that I am not the biggest fan of pot roast.  I picked one up a while ago and needed to use it so I stumbled across this recipe.  It was so easy to make and with the exception of the celery (which I just didn’t use) I had everything on hand in my pantry and refrigerator.  It turned out great and may have changed my attitude towards pot roast.  If you don’t have potatoes in your pantry right now pick up the GIANT White Potatoes that are $2 for a 5lb bag.  The beauty of this dish is that you already have your vegetables and potatoes cooked with the meat for a complete meal.  I will sometimes pull out a bag of frozen vegetables (like green beans or broccoli) to add some color to our plates.

Potato Soup:

This recipe if you follow it as written is not for the calorie conscious.  It can be adjusted though with draining all of the bacon grease and sautéing the vegetables in butter, and I substitute fat free evaporated milk for cream in recipes.  I know it doesn’t taste as good as if I used the real thing, but it does add creaminess without all of the fat.  You can use the GIANT White Potatoes that are $2 for a 5lb bag and the Kunzler bacon that is buy one get one free.  I like to serve meals like this with a salad and crusty bread.

Spaghetti with Parmesan and Bacon:

I found this recipe this week in a weekly e-mail from   I saw parmesan and bacon and I was drooling over my keyboard.  It is a lighter version of a pasta carbonara.  You can use the Kunzler bacon that is buy one get one free this week and if you don’t have spaghetti in your pantry the San Giorgio pasta is on sale for $1 a box.  The Kraft Grated Parmesan is on sale this week as well $5.99 for a 16oz container.  I would encourage you to splurge and buy the GIANT Parmesan Wedge that is on sale for $7.49/lb in the deli and grate your own cheese – it really well taste better.  If you don’t have any frozen peas in your freezer the 16oz bags GIANT frozen peas are $1 this week. 

Stuffed Pasta Bake:

This is easy to fix and a dish that always goes over well with my family.  It is also a good option if you have a meatless meal one night a week.  The Rosetto Ravioli or Tortellini are on sale this week for $3 a bag.  You simply just have to cook them according to the package directions and then drain them and add them to a lightly greased baking dish and cover them with sauce and cheese.  I just pop it in the oven (usually at 350 degrees) long enough to melt the cheese and have the sauce bubble.   It looks like you slaved over a dish that really was so easy to put together.  The Prego sauce is $1.17 a jar when you buy two and use the $0.60/2 coupon in the 1/2 SmartSource Insert.  If you don’t have any shredded cheese in your refrigerator the GIANT shredded cheese is $1.67 a bag.  I usually use shredded mozzarella, but I have seen people use a blend of cheddar and mozzarella.  You can also buy the stuffed shells and pretty much do the same thing, you just don’t have to cook them first.  You will feel like you are at an Italian restaurant when you complete the meal with a salad and GIANT Texas Garlic Toast that is on sale for $1.29. 

Happy Cooking!


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