Get Organized for the Week Ahead to Save Time & Money

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Are you ready for the new week? What’s the status of your kitchen? Take these easy steps to get organized for the week ahead so you can eat well and save time and money.

Get Organized for the Week Ahead | Good Cheap Eats

Quinoa Vegetable Salad

With the new week beginning, now’s a great time to do a little prep work in the kitchen. In just an hour or two, you can get organized for the days ahead and set yourself up for success — to eat well without losing your wallet or spending endless hours in the kitchen!

Meal planning, prep, and execution doesn’t have to be burdensome or tiresome. You just need a few easy strategies to get you started in the right direction.

Whether you’re looking to get simple, whole foods meals on the table or following a special diet like a Whole 30, that prep work can pay off in big dividends throughout the week, including “hanger management.”

Caesar Salad Recipe: The Quick & Simple Way

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Caesar Salad can be simple, quick, delicious, and economical if you know how to make the right tweaks. I’ll show you how in this easy Caesar Salad recipe.

Caesar Salad Recipe | Good Cheap Eats

Sure, those salad kits and pre-made boxes of Caesar Salad are easy, but they’re not cheap and they’re not all that good.

Making your own Caesar Salad at home seriously takes just a few minutes and the result is a delicious, crisp, tangy salad that is the perfect accompaniment to your favorite main dishes.

It’s also pretty good all on its own, especially if you add a hard cooked egg, some grilled chicken, or a sliced avocado.

I should know. Me and Caesar Salad go way back.

A Month of Sizzling Summer Meal Plans

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What’s your best bet for delicious, easy, and keep-your-cool dinner prep this month? I’ve got a magic bullet to solve your dinnertime dilemmas.

Submarine Salad Recipe | Good Cheap Eats

Do you end up eating take-out too often?

Is grocery shopping an endless chore that leaves you buying and SPENDING more you need?

Do you forget to thaw that thing you NEEDED for dinner?

Do you feel RUSHED when it comes time to prepare the evening meal?

Do you wish that you could get your family to HELP you more with meal prep?

Are IMPULSE buys finding their way into your cart more often than they should?

Well, I’ve got a magic bullet that will solve all those issues — and leave you content when you leave the dinner table each night.

What I spent on groceries in May (A Grocery Geek report)

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It has been a crazy month. Two birthdays, Mother’s Day, an anniversary, two visits with grandparents, and car trouble that stranded us in the dessert — all these added up to cra-zy! Thankfully, though, our grocery budget was able to weather the storms, despite more than a few splurges.

I think a lot of that was due to my baking. While I did pick up a few loaves of bread on clearance and such, I did most of our baking myself, using the sourdough starter my friend Kate sent me from Canada.

I also found some really good meat sales. Between the sale chicken and eating more beans, I think we got our protein costs down.

But, again, meal planning and ALDI prices have really helped keeping us in the black. As well as spending time with a Nanna who spoils you. What can I say?

Meal Planning for Different Diets

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Meal Planning for different diets can be tricky. What one person loves, the other hates or can’t eat. But, you don’t have to spend all day in the kitchen. There are ways to make it work to eat well and keep everyone happy.

Meal Planning for Different Diets | Good Cheap Eats

Chicken Street Tacos

Getting a meal on the table every night can be tricky enough when you’re juggling budget and time concerns. If you throw in different dietary requirements and preferences for a small group of people, it can become a very complicated process.

Nut allergies, gluten-free, lactose intolerant, weight loss, paleo, vegan, the list goes on. There are so many different styles and preferences for eating — all legitimate, sometimes confusing.

But it’s not impossible!

In fact, there are plenty of families that deal with varied allergies and dietary issues, and yet they’re still able to come together for a meal every night without one or more people signing up as short order cooks.

Meal planning for different diets requires a little know-how and preparation, but once you get a system down, you can make it as easy as pie.

Tarragon Turkey Burgers with Bleu Cheese and Chipotle Mayonnaise

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Turkey burgers are moving up in the world. These seasoned turkey burgers flavored with green onion and tarragon are further enhanced with creamy bleu cheese and a spicy chipotle mayonnaise. Make a batch tonight!

Tarragon Turkey Burgers from Good Cheap Eats

Don’t you love a big juicy burger loaded with toppings? Chances are you’ve had one that goes down in memory. Unfortunately, burger joints are no longer the cheapest eats in town. In fact, some of my local restaurants are charging $12 to $15 for a burger and fries.

Gourmet though these burgers may be, they just don’t merit the price tag. Unless you’re on vacation or celebrating a special occasion.

The good thing is that you can make your own gourmet-style burgers at home for less!

Poorman’s Chicken Caesar Salad

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Entree salads are a great one to enjoy delicious flavors without spending a lot of money. This Chicken Caesar Salad is made from scratch quick and easily and tastes fantastic!

Poorman's Chicken Caesar Salad | Good Cheap Eats

OK, Caesar Salad may be very 1994. It might also be very 1924, for that matter. But, I don’t care. It still tastes great.

Caesar Salad is actually my kids’ favorite salad. It’s my favorite, too. For months, nay, years, I’ve been making all manner of salads, but the Casear is the hands down favorite. I know they will eat their veggies if I make a Caesar Salad.

Once when I was brainstorming ways to get the kids to eat more vegetables, I asked them what they liked. The unanimous response was: Caesar Salad, but the creamy kind. Always with the disclaimer….

My kids don’t love my old standard that I’ve made forever, but I don’t want to pay big bucks on Newman’s or Cardini’s highly processed, very expensive, bottled dressings. 

What I spent on groceries in April (The Grocery Geek Report)

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Does looking at other people’s groceries fascinate you like it does me? The grocery cart is a lot like a medicine cabinet. You can tell a lot about a person by perusing their shopping items. Want a peek into our grocery cart? Here’s how I’m grocery shopping and feeding eight people on the cheap.

Whew. That month went by quickly. Wasn’t it just Easter?!

It’s been a busy month for me with school, work, and life. Every day was so busy, I honestly didn’t keep a running tally on my grocery shopping; I was a little nervous when I started to write this post. Turns out, I needn’t have worried! Good Cheap Eating pays off, my friends!

I made some interesting observations about this month’s SIXTEEN shopping trips. I’m a little embarrassed by that number, quite honestly. I shopped this often due to a number of factors:

Whole Wheat Snickerdoodles as Addicting as Ever

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A healthier twist on an old classic, these Whole Wheat Snickerdoodles are delicious! A little whole grains and flax seed meal takes the classic cookie up a notch. They freeze beautifully so you can have a sweet treat any time the urge strikes.

Whole Wheat Snickerdoodles | Good Cheap Eats

Snickerdoodles have always been a favorite cookie of mine to bake. Probably because cinnamon is one of my mom’s favorite cookies. She could care less about Double Chocolate Toffee Cookies or Buttery, Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies or Oatmeal Thumbprint Cookies with Cassis Jam. She’d much rather have plain-Jane sugar cookies or something with cinnamon.

So, as she gave me carte blanche in the kitchen as a child, it mattered not to her that we were out of chocolate chips or rolled oats. If we had butter, sugar, flour, and cinnamon? All was well in the world. Snickerdoodles are pretty much IT in that category.

I mean what other cookie requires so few ingredients yet packs such a punch of flavor?

Beans and Rice: A Very Good Cheap Eat

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Beans and rice are a good cheap eat, especially when you top them with chips, salsa, and some other goodies. They make a filling meal to help you save money and eat well.

Beans and Rice | Good Cheap Eats

We eat beans and rice at least once a week for dinner. Sometimes they are side dishes, but often they make the bulk of the meal. While I sometimes lean on canned beans, I save money when I cook my own pinto beans to serve alongside “from scratch” Mexican rice. No boxed rice mixes around here!

We’ve found that these homemade varieties taste better than the canned and boxed versions, and generally the homemade version is less expensive as well.