Posts Tagged ‘Frugal Mom’

If You Like to Waste Your Money, Shop at Raley’s/Bel Air

In the greater Sacramento area, we have a good deal of choices to do our grocery shopping. There’s Safeway (my personal favorite), WalMart (my 2nd favorite), Nugget, Save Mart (formerly Albertson’s), and Raley’s/Bel Air.

The LOML and I used to shop at Raley’s/Bel Air all the time in our “early years,” since it was conveniently located near our duplex. When we bought our house and moved, we continued to shop at Raley’s/Bel Air until a Safeway was built.

Lately, I’ve made the decision to boycott Raley’s/Bel Air entirely because they are ridiculously overpriced. I only shop there when something I use is on sale, which is rare.

This morning the boys and I made a trip to Costco, and decided to pick up a rotisserie chicken for dinner. (The LOML actually wanted to debone it and use the meat for chicken tacos.) Sundays usually consist of a trip to Costco and then to the supermarket for things we don’t need in quantities of 1,000.

Anyhoo, the LOML went against my advice and took the supermarket list to Raley’s instead of Safeway, and spent nearly $80 on basics like canned food, produce, tortillas, and one more rotisserie chicken for use later in the week. If he’d gone anywhere else, he’d have probably spent less than $50.

After admitting fault, the LOML dove right into deboning the 2nd chicken, and became so pissed that I thought he was going to head back to Raley’s and demand a refund.

“Look at this! It’s, like, less than HALF of what we got out of the Costco chicken!”

And this is through no fault of the LOML’s. This man can pick a chicken cleaner than a buzzard.


The Costco chicken (left) was $4.99. The Raley’s chicken (right) was $6.99.


The meat from the Raley’s chicken (above) weighed less than a pound.


Fourteen ounces to be exact.


The meat from the Costco chicken (above) pegged the scale.


We think it’s around 1.5 pounds total.

So, if you live in the Sacramento area and feel the need to waste your hard-earned money, keep shopping at Raley’s/Bel Air. But don’t come crying to me about how broke you are!


10 2009

Frugal Mom Meal #12: Ten-Star Tuna Casserole

If you grew up in a Catholic household, then you’re familiar with the fact that Tuna Casserole was in constant rotation of the family meal plan.

I love my mom’s recipe, and hadn’t made it in quite a long time. When I sat down to do this month’s menu plan, I wanted to include it to satisfy a craving for it that I’ve been harboring since the summer.

Then I found this Tuna Casserole recipe from Recipezaar, and I knew immediately that I wanted to make it. The recipe strays from the norm, calling for cream of celery soup instead of cream of mushroom, and adding chopped celery to the mix instead of peas.

It was fairly easy to make, with the boiling of noodles and chopping of celery and onions the only “hard” work involved. Mix it all up in a bowl and spread it in a casserole dish, top with some cheddar cheese (I also added some bread crumbs to the topping), and in 30 minutes, you’ve got one heck of a family staple just begging to be eaten.

Here’s what mine looked like after I pulled it out of the oven lastnight. I’d have taken some pictures of what it looked like on a plate, but it got gobbled up so fast that I didn’t get the chance to snap a shot.

This evening, we returned to that ultra-awesome, super-fantastic To Die For Crock Pot Roast. No pictures available for that one either, since we ate half and put half away for future use. (Click here for what it looked like the first time we made it.)

Tomorrow, we’re having Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole . . . who’s coming over for dinner?

PS: Remember, if you’re going to leave a comment, it won’t appear right away. I have to monitor them all of the time now, and if you’re not a spammer or a punk trying to get his page links by posting them in my comments section, then your comment will appear within an hour of writing it. Thank you for your patience!


01 2008

Storms, Spending, and Ravioli Lasagna

One week ago today, a huge storm blew through California, knocking power out to tens of thousands of people–including me.

Being ill-prepared for a long-term power outage (I kept thinking it would come on “anytime now”)–coupled with the fact that I was trying to keep a preschooler and an infant warm and entertained–contributed to a complete brain meltdown, resulting in the loss of 95% of the food in our refrigerator and freezer. (HELLO!?! How hard would it have been to put our food in a cooler?)


Anyway, the show had to go on, and so did the spending:

$88.60 on dining out, including breakfasts, lunches, and group dinners (our stove is electric)
$33.15 on provisions such as batteries, flashlights, etc.
$20.00 on entertainment
$20.25 doing 6 loads of laundry at the laundromat (I was desperate . . .)
$13.38 on rum and pepsi (because Mama and her husband were in need of a drink!)
$175.38 Total

And, of course, this doesn’t count the food I’ve had to re-purchase for restocking our refrigerator & freezer. (I’ll share that total another time.) Safe to say that this has been a Frugal Mom nightmare!

Since then, I’ve had to rearrange the rest of the month’s menu, calling on more crock pot dishes and easy-to-bake recipes for weekdays, and more complicated food on the weekends. I waited until Wednesday to do my grocery shopping (new sales!), and used coupons from the Sunday paper to save as much as I could.

Now, all is back on track in CosmoMama’s house, and last night we enjoyed Recipezaar’s “On the Go Ravioli Lasagna.” Here’s what it looked like (I did a “side view” so you could see the layers of ravioli. I used extra cheese on top.)

This was another busy mom miracle dinner–it took my oven longer to preheat than it did to prepare. And it was SOOOOO yummy! I’ll be making this again and again, and will also turn to it for potlucks.

Tonight, it’s Tuna Casserole, something I’ve been craving to have for months now! If I have a few moments, I’ll post the review after we eat. I can’t wait!


01 2008

Too Many Leftovers = Mama Doesn’t Have to Cook!

Some of you may have been looking forward to my picture and commentary of Recipezaar’s Baked Stuffed Pasta Shells this evening, but I didn’t cook them.

You see, there were WAYYY too many leftovers in the fridge to justify cooking something new, so tonight became leftover night.

I’ll make them sometime later this month instead of “Dad’s Quesadillas” or “Quick ‘n Easy Freezer Pop ‘n Bake.”

At least we didn’t eat out!!


01 2008

Tastes Like . . . Chicken?

Tonight we had Recipezaar‘s Crock Pot Chicken, Gravy and Stuffing. (That’s the breast on the left, the stuffing & gravy on the right.) I followed the directions to the “T,” and even added poultry seasoning to the bag of chicken while it was frozen so it could soak up some marinade while thawing.

The prep for the dish was a snap–10 minutes and I was good to go. I had visions of more yummy sounds and “yay mommy” cheers in my head all day while I was at work. I thought for sure that the whole thing would be a slam dunk.

But, for some reason, the chicken turned out bland!

The chicken, by itself, tasted like something I once cooked while on the “Six Week Body Makeover” program: flavorless meat to be eaten purely for its source of protein. The rest of the dish, however, was delicious! In fact, in order to make the dish taste better, my husband put everything back in the crock, stirred it up so that the chicken pieces would shred, and re-served it “casserole style,” with the chicken pieces and gravy & stuffing all mixed together.

I’m going to put the recipe in my keeper binder with a note to poke holes in the chicken so that it will soak up the seasoning and have more flavor.

Tomorrow I’ll be giving the crock a rest and using my oven to cook Baked Stuffed Pasta Shells. Sounds tasty!!!


01 2008