Easy Breakfast Ideas to Save You Time in the Morning

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Serve up a breakfast buffet to save time in the morning. These easy breakfast ideas will help you get a great start on your day.

baguette for petit dejeuner

Mornings can be rushed and busy. Breakfast can often be an after-thought, despite the fact that everyone KNOWS it’s the most important meal of the day. You find yourself rushing out the door with a cold piece of toast between your teeth, hands full with coat and keys.

How about you slow things down a bit? Let’s head back to that last hotel vacation you had. My kids LOVE it when we stay at a hotel. It’s not the free cable or the free wi-fi. It’s not even the pool.

The biggest attraction of hotel vacations is the all-you-can-eat breakfast bar. True story.

Typically an array of baked goods, eggs, bacon, sausage, fruit, coffee, cereal, juice and milk, the hotel breakfast bar suits everyone’s tastes and is easy to serve. 

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Peppermint Brownie Bites

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Enjoy a super easy dessert with these Peppermint Brownie Bites. Lots of crunchy edges and a gooey center with just the right amount of mint!

One of the attractions of baking a variety of different Christmas Cookies is that you don’t have to lock yourself into one particular flavor. You can vary the tastes and textures, so that you never get bored.

As if one could grow bored of cookies…. but still.

Think about it. What flavors we got at Christmas? Gingerbread, chocolate, caramel, lemon, but yeah, peppermint kinda rises to the top, doesn’t it, when you think of Christmas flavors?

These Peppermint Brownie Bites just might be the easiest thing you whip up for your holiday cookie plate.

Dinner Mishap? Have a Backup Meal Plan

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Not every meal you serve will be picture perfect. While mishaps can happen, you can save the day by having a backup meal plan.

It stands to reason that not every meal you plan will go the way you want it to. Life happens. The power goes out. You forget to thaw something.

Such is life in the modern age.

We don’t spend all day working out our sustenance like Ma Ingalls, so somethings slip our minds.

Even mine. As my husband and children can testify, not every meal I plan goes the way I want it to. In fact, one Christmas Eve when the shrimp feast I had planned didn’t happen, we headed out Panda Express and made the most of it.

What I spent on groceries in November

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Want a peek into our grocery cart? Here’s how I’m buying groceries and feeding eight people on the cheap.

Hey hey hey! Here we are at the end of November. It was a whirlwind of a month. We celebrated two birthdays as well as Thanksgiving where we hosted an extra five in addition to our 8. My inlaws stayed for a few days as well.

The good thing is that though I did max out our groceries, I didn’t go too far over budget. Our average is holding strong for the year. You’ll have to scroll down to see where we landed.

As for December and keeping our average under budget, it will be a wee bit tricky. I’ve had some ongoing vertigo issues and the doc is trying to troubleshoot and rule out all kinds of things. Among his many tests and therapies, he’s also put me on a restricted diet.

Avoid salt, caffeine, chocolate, alcohol, and stress — in December!

Hahaha!

The one that will most impact my diet is, of course, the salt, so that means more eating at home, no fast food. Hopefully, it won’t have a negative impact on the budget. Just may divert eating out money to the grocery budget to compensate. We shall see!

How to Roast Peeled Garlic

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Want to learn to roast peeled garlic? You’ll be pleasantly surprised to see how easy it is to have roast garlic at the ready for all your favorite recipes.

Garlic is considered by some as a natural medicinal. Research suggests that it can help the body fight against heart disease and cancer.

It also protects one from vampires.

Garlic also imparts fantastic flavor to the foods we enjoy. Caesar salad, Pesto, and Garlic Bread wouldn’t be the same without it.

Roasting garlic is a delicious way to enjoy this powerhouse of flavor and goodness without too much spice or bitterness getting in the way. In fact, roasting garlic softens, mellows, and almost sweetens the garlic.

Pesto Pasta Salad with Cranberries & Feta

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Enjoy an easy supper or side dish with this make-ahead Pesto Pasta Salad with Cranberries & Feta Cheese. It’s packed with flavor and makes a colorful addition to your buffet.

hands holiding bowl of Pesto Cranberry Pasta Salad

I like to think that pasta salads are God’s gift to the busy home cook. They are hearty, make-ahead, and so very versatile that you could probably make a different pasta salad every day of the month and not make the same thing twice.

Pasta salads are as welcome at a backyard BBQ as they are at a New Year’s potluck. Best yet, they’re super cheap to make because the pasta is one very frugal ingredient.

My sister who got the idea from her sister-in-law told me about this Pesto Pasta Salad years ago. Pesto, feta, and cranberries? All having a party together in a bowl of pasta? Count me in!

Prep Your Turkey Stock Ingredients in Advance

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Save time after your holiday meals by prepping your turkey stock ingredients beforehand. You’ll save motions and make stock-making so much easier.

food storage box with aromatics and vegetables to make stock

Everybody knows that homemade chicken or turkey stock is tastier than the can. And it’s a frugal way to stretch your original purchase of fowl.

After all, making turkey stock is practically free! Just load a pot — or even a slow cooker — with the leftover bones and drippings as well as some vegetables, aromatics, and water. Simmer and in a few hours you’ll have liquid gold.

Sounds beautiful, doesn’t it?

Well, let’s turn off the Martha Stewart Special and talk turkey, shall we?

Create a Party Pantry for Frugal Entertaining

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Want to host friends and family without going broke? Build a Party Pantry so that you always have on hand the basic ingredients for fun drinks, appetizers, and desserts.

lemon meringue sundae in martini glass

You want to open your home to friends and family, but you also know that it can cost a pretty penny to extend hospitality. Much more than one thinks.

Grocery items just add up.

In fact, in the old days, it was typically the well-to-do who invited people over. No one else could afford to feed those outside their household!

Back in the day, savvy home cooks found ways around it. They knew that they didn’t have to throw a 6-course dinner party to entertain. Instead, they could entertain in creative ways that didn’t cost a fortune.

How to Make Chicken Stock in the Slow Cooker

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Make something delicious from almost nothing! Learn how to make Chicken Stock in the Slow Cooker for the best tasting soups, gravies, and sauces.

jar of chicken stock with slow cooker

Making homemade chicken stock is one of the easiest ways to make something from nothing. Okay, almost nothing.

If you’ve roasted a whole chicken or baked chicken pieces, save the bones, skin, and drippings to make a delicious broth or stock to use in soups, gravies, or pilafs. The resulting, golden brown goodness will taste much better than anything you could buy in a can or jar.

And it’s made from ingredients that you’d probably chuck in the trash otherwise, so it’s basically like making something from nothing.

Psst. Pro-tip: You can do the same thing with roast turkey leftovers, only it will be turkey stock!

6 Ways to Save Money on Holiday Meals

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Don’t go over budget this year! The holidays can be festive as well as frugal. Consider these savvy tips to help you save money on holiday meals.

dinner spread of potatoes, vegetables, and pork tenderloin

Remember the first time you hosted a holiday meal for the family? You were so excited. You researched for weeks which dishes to prepare. You checked the grocery ads for the best prices.

You almost keeled over from sticker shock when the checker told you the ingredients for one meal cost as much as a regular week’s groceries.

Oh wait, that was me, wasn’t it?