Loading...

Follow Frugal Family Home | Homemaking on a Budget on Feedspot

Continue with Google
Continue with Facebook
or

Valid

I found frozen salmon fillets in the freezer so those are making an appearance on our menu this week. We love salmon I just don’t love the price all that much. But when I find a good deal I like to buy salmon for the freezer.

I make homemade tartar sauce to go with it. It’s easy to make if you haven’t tried before. 

The rest of the week we will be having some of our favorite meals.

One of our favorite meals is pasta shell enchiladas. It’s enchiladas wrapped up in a large pasta shell. They are great for something different from the regular enchiladas. 

We’ll also be having chicken fajitas. They are delicious and easy to make from the freezer. This is a great recipe to make when you find pepper on sale. 

We found the glazed pork chop recipe about a year ago and it is so easy to make. And everyone in our family loves it too. If you like pork chops that recipe is a great way to make them. 

If you haven’t ever tried tofu before you might give the southern fried tofu recipe a try. Even my picky eater will eat it.

The Full Meal Plan for this Week

Dinners

Grilled Salmon, Homemade Tartar Sauce, Rice, and Vegtables

Pasta Shell Enchiladas, Salad, and Fruit

Sweet Asian Chicken, Rice, and Vegetables

Glazed Pork Chops, Mashed Potatoes, and Green Beans

Southern Fried Tofu, Egg Noodles, Salad, and Fruit

Chicken Fajitas, Fruit, Salsa and Chips

Pizza and Salad

Lunches

Leftover most days

Lunchmeat and Goat Cheese Quesadilla, Fruit, and Chips

Corn Dogs, Chips, and Fruit

Breakfast

Toast, Eggs, and Oatmeal

Waffles, Eggs, and Sausage

Breakfast Sandwiches and Fruit

What’s on your menu this week?

Do you need help planning your menu? Find my menu planning tips here with a free printable menu planner page and here for my frugal menu planning tips.

This post contains affiliate links. See my disclosure policy for more information.

Find more menu plan ideas at Org Junkie too.

The post Menu Plan Monday, July 15th appeared first on Frugal Family Home.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Have you ever wondered if you can cook rice and vegetables together in the same pan? I’m here to tell you, you can cook rice and vegetables together. Here’s how to cook rice with vegetables.

It can save you time and you won’t have to wash another pan which is always good.

Maybe you’re like me, cooking the rice on the stove and cooking the vegetables in another pan right next to it.

One is steaming the other is boiling. Using two pans and two burners.

It hit me, why not add the vegetables on top of the rice and let them steam while the rice cooks?

Hard to believe this has escaped me for so long. Maybe it has escaped you too.

I tried it. After all what’s the worst that could happen?

I had sugar snap peas from the garden. I wanted to steam them for lunch.

I also made rice to go with the peas and some cooked chicken we had on hand.

Sorta like a chicken bowl for lunch, easy and delicious.

As I was getting ready to get two pans out, I thought I should try to steam the vegetables on top of the rice as it cooks.

And sure enough it worked. And it worked so well I don’t think I’ll ever need to go back to cooking them separately again.

Well, not unless I need to cook a lot of rice and a lot of vegetables.

How to Cook White Rice on the Stove with Vegetables

This quick video will show you the easy steps to cooking rice with vegetables. Don’t want to watch? No problem scroll down to get a few tips to get you started.

Cooking Rice and Vegetables Together Tips

My first try at this technique was successful. But there are a few things I’ve learned since that time, I’d like to pass along to you. So your vegetables will turn out just right each time.

When to Add the Vegetables to the Rice Guidelines

In the video, I showed putting the sugar snap peas in at the beginning of the cooking time. Which turned out fine, but the peas were a little overdone for us.

If you’re cooking a quicker cooking vegetable like sugar snap peas start them later into the cooking time. Add them halfway through the rice cooking time.

So instead of putting the peas in at the start of the rice cooking, wait about 10 minutes and add them to the top of the rice then.

For slower cooking vegetables that may take longer to steam add them sooner.

Add the denser vegetables at the beginning as you start the rice cooking or soon after. This will ensure your vegetables will cook through and not be too crisp.

Increase the Steam Time

When you are cooking rice and vegetables together, you’ll likely need to increase the cooking time over just steaming them.

When you are steaming the vegetables over boiling water. But when you are steaming with the steam from the rice, it can take a bit longer to cook the vegetables.

Be sure to increase your cooking time a little. Try to add 2-3 minutes to start and see if the vegetables get done to your likeness.

Grab the printable recipe…

How to Cook Rice with Vegetables in One Pot

Cook your vegetables in the same pan as your rice to save time and an extra pot to clean.

  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup Rice (I use white long grain)
  • 1 cup Vegetables
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  1. Add the water and salt to a pan and bring to a boil. Stir in the rice.
  2. Turn down the heat and cover.
  3. Cook about 5-10 minutes depending on the vegetable you’ll be adding.
  4. Remove cover and add vegetables.
  5. Replace lid and let cook until vegetables are tender and rice is done about 10-15 minutes more.
  6. Remove the vegetables from the rice and fluff the rice or stir the vegetables in if you’d like to serve them combined with the rice.

If preparing a slower cooking vegetable, like broccoli, carrots or other root vegetable. Add the vegetables in closer to the beginning of the cooking time for the rice.

If preparing quicker cooking vegetables, like sugar snap peas or frozen vegetables wait until half the rice cooking time has passed and then add the vegetables.

If you are preparing brown rice wait until the last 10-12 minutes of the cooking time to add the vegetables.

That’s how simple and easy it is to steam your vegetables in the same pot while you are cooking your rice. Simple, easy and one less pan to clean too.

What do you think? Have you tried this before? Let us know how it worked for you in the comments below.

More Side Dish Recipes to Try….

Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Roasted Potatoes

Easy Coleslaw

Pin it for Later

The post How to Easily Cook Rice with Vegetables appeared first on Frugal Family Home.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 
Frugal Family Home | Homemaking on a Bud.. by Shelly, Shelly Olson: Mom, Homemake.. - 1w ago

Traveling can be great or it can be a nightmare of unexpected expenses. But you can do your best to make your road trip the best it can be with a little of planning ahead of time. In this podcast I’m sharing tips for How to save money on a road trip.

Plus a few tips to help you get your car ready.

In this episode of the Frugal Family Home podcast, I’m sharing road trip tips to help you save money and avoid problems with your car while you are traveling.

If you take the time to plan ahead and do a few things before you leave it can help you enjoy your road trip and stay on budget too.

Save Money on Your Next Road Trip with these 9 Tips 1. Set a Budget

Sure it’s great to hit the open road without a care in the world, but doing so can put a dent in your budget.

It’s a given you’ll need to plan your route but what about planning for your expenses?

Be sure to take into account how much you’ll be spending. You’ll need to have your car checked out before you leave. You’ll need gas money, money for food, and lodging.

As you are planning your route look into the costs of each of these on your stops along the way. You might be able to stay in a smaller town and save money. Or find a great deal on gas just a few miles away from your destination.

2. Plan Your Route

Now that you know you need to budget for your trip, it’s time to plan your route. What destinations would you like to go to? Where will you stop at along the way?

Use Google Maps or MapQuest or even AAATripTik. To help you plan your route and make the most of where you’ll be traveling.

Be sure to have maps for where you’ll be traveling, AAA is a great place to get these, because you never know when your GPS might stop working.

3. Get Your Car Serviced Before Your Road Trip

Before you leave for your trip get your car service by a mechanic. Have them do a general checkout and check fluids and tires. If something need servicing get it done.

Be sure to have all repairs completed a few weeks to a month before your road trip. This can help to make sure the repair is good and there isn’t something more that needs to be done.

Be sure to check your tire pressure, lights, and fluid in your car the day before leaving.

If you don’t know how to do this, take it to your mechanic, check your owner’s manual of your car, or check YouTube for a tutorial to learn how.

Taking a little time to service your car before you leave on your road trip can save you lots of money on car repairs on the road.

4. Save On Gas

Find the cheapest fuel prices along your route. Use GasBuddy or the GasBuddy App to find the best prices to where you’ll be traveling.

GasBuddy has a trip cost calculator to estimate how much it will cost for gas from one place to the next. And they also have a gas price map so you can see the average price of fuel across the United States. Making it easier to plan your gas budget.

AAATripTik is also great for finding construction along your route and finding the best gas prices and estimated gas costs too.

And checking these items on your car can help you save on gas too.

Properly inflate your tires. If your tires are low, it can decrease your gas mileage.

Don’t over pack, if your car is loaded down with more things than you need it will decrease your gas mileage.

Keep a consistent speed, when you can. Use your cruise control to keep your speed consistent can save you money when you are on the highway or freeway.

Drive the speed limit. Speeding up and slowing down with traffic might make you feel like you are getting there faster. But often it results in unnecessary wear and tear on your car and uses more gas.

Avoid rush hour traffic if possible. Take the time to see the local sites or eat dinner during rush hour. No use wasting gas just sitting still in traffic.

5. Pack Essentials

You don’t want to over-pack but you want to bring the essentials you’ll need.

You want to pack items you know you will use. Because if you pack too much, it will be hard to find anything and only add the to weight of the car which affects gas mileage.

Make a list of the essential items you’ll need for the trip and pack those items. If there are items, you might need leave them behind. If they truly become essential, you can pick them up if needed.

Use your best judgement on what you’ll need and be sure to include those items.

6. Meals and Snacks

Eating out can be expensive but I’ll have a few tips for you next about that. When you pack your own food, you can really save money.

If you’ll be camping, then bringing your own food is essential since most campsites are out of the way. But if you’ll be stopping at lodging along the way, it’s still good to pack your own food.

If you are staying in hotels or motels, find places that offer a free breakfast. Or look for lodging with kitchenette. Even a small refrigerator and microwave can help you make breakfast in your room.

Bring homemade breakfast sandwiches or burritos. Or go to the grocery store and buy some. Either option will save you money over stopping and eating out.

Lunches can be easy to make ahead or make on the road. If you plan on having a picnic lunch each day, you can make your own sandwiches with items you purchase at a local grocery store.

Buy lunchmeat, bread, cheese, condiments and make your own sandwiches. Buy chips and maybe a package of cookies and you have lunch. And it will cost you so much less than fast food too.

Snacks are easy to pack and bring with you. Buy the small snack sized baggies, I get mine at the dollar store, and pack your own individual snacks for everyone. Buying the big packages and making the individually packs yourself can really save you money over individual packages of snacks you buy.

Be sure to bring an ice chest to store your food from the grocery store that needs to be chilled and buy your own bottled water.

You can freeze the bottled water and use it to chill your food on the way. Then as it thaws, you can drink the water. Saving room and you don’t have to buy ice either.

7. Lodging

As you are planning your route it’s best to plan ahead and make reservations for where you’ll be staying. Whether it will be a campsite, a hotel, or Airbnb you’ll need somewhere to sleep. Unless you plan on napping in the car on the way.

When you book ahead, you can get the best prices and avoid the no vacancy signs too.

When booking your accommodations be sure to check to see if you have a refrigerator and microwave in the room.

Or better yet get a room with a kitchenette so you can make your own meals while you are there. A little extra in the room’s cost can save you more than eating out for every meal.

8. Eating Out

A vacation isn’t a vacation without eating out at least once. It’s nice to splurge every once in a while and if you plan ahead, you can save money too.

Look for restaurants where kids can eat free. Be sure to check for recommendations on Yelp to find the best places to eat and get an estimate on the costs too.

Ask a local where they eat. Often there will be local gems to find a great meal.

Eat at chain restaurants and use gift card. You can find discount gift cards at places like Gift Card Granny or GiftCards.com. But one word of caution, if you spend more when using a gift card, it will be better to use cash.

9. Bring Cash

I know everyone says don’t travel with cash but you never know when you might need cash because a credit card doesn’t work or you need money for a toll. It’s better to be prepared with some cash on hand.

Those are the 9 tips to help you save money on your next road trip. I hope you have found something new to help make your next road trip the best one yet.

More Money Saving Tips…

12 Remarkable Tips to Save on Groceries
How to Save Money Even If You’re a Spender

The post How to Save Money on a Road Trip appeared first on Frugal Family Home.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Is anyone else lazy at making meals in the summer, like I am?

I try to keep all my dinners easy this time of year. I like to make sure we have enough time to enjoy the great summer weather, keep up with the garden, and just do fun stuff in general.

Plus I try to keep all of our meals either stove top, grilled, or made in the crock pot to keep the heat down in the house. If you need some oven free recipes, be sure to check this list of 80+ oven free meals.

This week we’ll be eating homemade sub sandwiches. These are our homemade version of subway sandwiches. They are great for dinner on a hot day, no cooking needed. 

We’ll be having salad this week. Once for lunch and once for dinner. We have quite a bit of lettuce coming out of the garden, so I’m using it in salads.

For dinner we’ll be having a BLT salad with hard boiled eggs. And salad one day for lunch with lunchmeat or leftover meat on top too. We love to have big salads for meals. 

The slow cooker will be busy this week with two meals. We’ll be having slow cooker enchiladas. They are a layer enchilada. They are so easy and so delicious too. 

We have ham in the freezer so I’ll be using that ham in our slow cooker dinner with cheesy potatoes. This is a great meal to get ready in the morning and have it waiting when you come home from a busy day. 

We’ll also be grilling hamburgers and pork chops this week too. We have a wood fired grill and it really makes the food taste great. 

Meal Plan for this Week

Dinners

Grilled Pork Chops, Mashed Potatoes, and Fruit

Bacon and Egg Salad, French Bread, and Fruit

Homemade Subway Sandwiches, Chips, and Fruit

Crock Pot Beef and Bean Enchiladas, Salad, and Fruit

Hamburger Skillet Dish and Salad

Crock Pot Ham and Cheesy Potatoes, Salad, and Fruit

Hamburgers, Macaroni Salad, and Fruit

Lunches

Leftover most days

Big Salad with Homemade Croutons

Sandwiches, Carrot Sticks, and Fruit

Breakfast

Toast, Eggs, and Oatmeal

Pancakes, Eggs, and Sausage

BLT’s, Eggs, and Fruit

What’s on your menu this week?

Do you need help planning your menu? Find my menu planning tips here with a free printable menu planner page and here for my frugal menu planning tips.

This post contains affiliate links. Thanks for your support.

Find more menu plan ideas at Org Junkie too.

The post Menu Plan Monday, July 8th appeared first on Frugal Family Home.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

You’ve decided to grow some of your own food. You don’t have a lot of space but you are going to give growing food in containers a try. But you need to know what plants grows best in pots. No problem here’s a list of 12 plants to grow in containers.

If you are new to container gardening, you can find the basics to get you started. Go to What’s a Container garden to read all the tips then come back to pick what you’ll be growing.

The Best 12 Plants to Grow in Containers

I’ve grown these plants either in containers or in small raised bed in our backyard. Most of these plants are easy to grow but there are a few things you need to know to be successful.

I’ve included tips for growing each of the 12 plants. I hope you find it helpful.

1. Cherry Tomatoes

Most cherry tomato plants produce lots of tomatoes. Perfect for salads or snacking.

You can find a pretty good variety of plant starts too. Which is really nice. Or you can start your own from seed.

If this is your first year gardening. I’d suggest starting with a plant if you have a shorter growing season like us up North.

You’ll also want to make sure you have a pot that is 12 inches deep. If your space is really limited try using a hanging planter to plant your tomatoes in or even one of these funny tomato planter.

Be sure to place your tomatoes in an area that gets about 5-6 hour sun. Tomatoes like warm weather and they need sun.

When the fruit sets be sure to water well consistently. Inconsistent water can split your tomatoes. It’s better to water a little each day than a lot once a week.

See my other tomato growing tips here.

2. Green Beans

Green beans are great to grow. There are two main types of beans, bush and pole beans. You can grow either in a pot.

Make sure you use a pot that is about 12 inches deep or more. If you’ll be growing pole beans, you’ll need a support for the beans to grow up. A tomato cage in the pot or bamboo stakes in the shape of a teepee can work.

The pole beans keep producing all season long which makes them worth the hassle of staking them. If you don’t want to use supports, try a bush variety.

Bush green beans grow shorter and are self supporting, meaning no tomato cage or stakes needed. The only drawback is they produce a batch of beans all at once and then they are done.

You might get a few more here and there but that’s about it. So you’ll need to replant or use succession planting to keep harvesting beans if you’ll be growing bush beans.

3. Lettuce

Lettuce is so easy to grow and you don’t need a deep pot to grow it in either. You can use shallow pots or even a gutter attached to a deck railing to grow your lettuce in.

Any variety of lettuce can be grown but one thing to remember is head lettuce needs more room to grow. But leaf lettuce can be grown closer.

You can harvest a few leaves here and there and leave the plants to produce more leaves.

Find my lettuce growing tips here.

4. Peppers

Peppers are a plant that took me a while to master growing. But I think it was more about our short, often cooler growing season that worked against me. If you live in an area with lots of heat and sun, peppers are for you.

You can grow spicy or sweet peppers in pots. Just be sure the pots are 12 inch deep. And the darker the color of the pots the better the soil heats up, the more the peppers will like it.

Our neighbor when I was a kid used to grow his peppers in 5-gallon bucket he painted black. He would move them to the sidewalk to soak up the sun and the heat from the pavement each day. He grew beautiful peppers too.

The main thing to remember with peppers is they love heat so find them a warm sunny spot and you should be set.

5. Radishes

If you are an impatient gardener, you’ll want to grow radishes. They are one of the fastest growing plants and they do well in containers.

Radishes need a moderately deep pot, about 8-10 inches deep. And unlike the pepper they don’t like the heat. They are a cool weather plant.

Perfect for planting in the cooler early spring weather. You can find more radish growing tips here and how to prepare the radishes you grow here.

Radishes are the perfect plant to start with if you are new to gardening.

6. Spinach

Spinach is another cool weather plant. So plant it in the spring with your radishes.

They grow much like lettuce. You can plant them in a 6 inch deep pot or even grow spinach in a deep window box.

If you have a short cooler spring season look to purchase slow to bolt spinach so you can grow it a little longer in your area.

7. Peas

Peas are like green beans they come in two main varieties, bush and pole. The pole varieties need support so using a tomato cage or some support will be necessary.

The dwarf or bush varieties are easier to grow in pots. They don’t need support like the pole varieties.

This is another plant that likes cool weather. They die off when it gets consistently over 70 degrees.

So plant these early, around mid-February in a moderately sunny place. And enjoy fresh peas from the garden until it gets hot out.

You can find out more about growing bush peas here or growing sugar snap peas here.

8. Zucchini Squash

Zucchini can be grown really easily and be very prolific. They are so prolific that one plant is likely all you’ll need to grow to get the amount of zucchini you’ll need.

This is a hot weather plant so be sure to find a sunny place and plant them once the weather starts to heat up.

You’ll need a big deep pot, something like a half barrel planter should work well. Just plant one to two plants in the pot.

You can find both vine and bush varieties of zucchini. I would suggest using a compact bush variety.

We grow jackpot bush zucchini and it grows great in our backyard garden. We get enough zucchini for our family and can give many away during the growing season with just two plants.

9. Cucumber

Cucumbers are a vine plant but there are bush varieties too. If you are growing bush varieties, you won’t need any support just room beyond the pot for the plant to spread out.

If you pick a vine variety, then you will need a support system like green beans need. A heavy tomato cage should work well.

Cucumbers are heavy feeders so be sure to add either compost to the top of the pot or use a regular fertilizer schedule to ensure they get what they need.

Get more cucumber growing tips here.

10. Garlic

Garlic can be expensive and growing it at home is relatively easy. You plant garlic in the fall and let it grow all winter long, then harvest the next season.

You can use cloves from the store but it’s best to purchase garlic from the garden center to plant.

You’ll need a pot that is 6-8 inches deep and fairly big, if you plan to grow quite a bit of garlic. You’ll want to leave 4 inches between each of the cloves to give them room to form heads.

One word of warning, once you grow your own garlic you won’t want to go back to the stuff at the store. The home-grown garlic is so much stronger and flavorful.

Get more tips for growing garlic here.

11. Chives

Chives are great to grow. This plant is a perennial which means it will come back year after year.

You want to plant your chives in a 10-12 inch deep pot. Give them lots of sun and water.

Chives are not only great for baked potatoes but you can use chives in salads, soups and more. And you can even eat the flowers too. They taste a lot like garlic. So pretty and delicious.

12. Strawberries

Strawberries are great to grow in containers. They don’t need a deep pot. They can be grown in strawberry pots or even in a hanging pot made for strawberries.

If you have a gutter to hang off a deck or patio railing your strawberries can grow in there.

Strawberries need regular fertilizer and must be watered well when the fruit is forming so they will grow bigger.

Homegrown strawberries taste so much better than store-bought berries.

Find all you need to know about growing sweet strawberries here.

Those are the best 12 plants to grow in containers. If you are ready to grow your own food on your patio or in your backyard, these are a great place to start.

I’d love to hear what you’ll try growing first. Leave me a comment below and let me know.

Happy Gardening!

More Gardening Ideas You’ll Love…

How to Grow Basil
DIY Chia Pet
DIY Seed Starting Pots

The post The Best 12 Plants to Grow in Containers appeared first on Frugal Family Home.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Can you believe it’s already the first of July. It seems the summer is going by fast. Does it feel that way to you too? When you are busy doing fun stuff it’s easy to not think about dinner until right before you need to eat. But having a meal plan can help you get dinner done and still have fun too. 

Need a few easy dinner ideas? See what’s cooking at our house this week below. 

Happy 4th of July to you. A few days early.  I hope your holiday will filled with delicious food too.

This week’s menu plan will include our holiday dinner of traditional hamburgers and hot dogs prepared on our wood-fired grill, with some delicious side dishes for the 4th.

The rest of the week I have planned easy dinners. One easy dinner I like to make is breakfast for dinner. It’s fast and easy to make and delicious too. Plus no one ever complains about what’s for dinner when we are having breakfast for dinner.

If it’s hot later in the week, I’ll be making our pizza on the grill or making skillet pizza pockets instead of oven baked pizza. This time of year it can go from warm weather to downright hot in just a day or two. I’ll just wait to see when the day comes to decide.

And if you haven’t tried the teriyaki chicken sandwiches yet, they are so good. Grab the recipe below and give them a try. 

What’s cooking at your house this week?

Here’s what’s on our Menu Plan this week, Easy Dinners

Teriyaki Chicken Sandwiches, Rice, and Stir Fry Vegetables

Ham Slices, Mashed Potatoes, and Green Salad made with lettuce from the garden

Taco Bowls with Watermelon as a side

Hamburgers and Hot Dog, Macaroni Salad, Potato Salad, and Fruit Salad

Garlic and Herb Whole Chicken Roasted, Baked Potatoes, and Salad

Eggs, Sausage, Hash Browns, and Fruit

Pizza and Salad

Lunches

Leftover Most Days

Tuna Sandwiches, Chips, and Fruit

Nachos and Fruit

Breakfasts

Toast and Eggs

Cinnamon Scones, Eggs, and Sausage

Pancakes, Eggs, and Sausage

I would love to hear what’s cooking at your house this week! Please scroll down and leave me a comment with your menu plan below.

Do you need help planning your menu? Find my menu planning tips here with a free printable menu planner page and here for  my frugal menu planning tips.

This post contains affiliate links. Thanks for your support.

Find more menu plan ideas at Org Junkie too.

The post Easy Dinners Menu Plan appeared first on Frugal Family Home.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

This week’s menu plan is a little different. My hubby will be on vacation this week, so I decided not to plan our lunches or breakfasts at all.

I was thinking about taking the whole week off from menu planning, but decided that could be a disaster to our wallet, not having a plan and eating out too often.

I planned our dinners for the week below. But I didn’t plan breakfasts or lunches. We can always resort to eating sandwiches for lunch and toast and eggs for breakfast, so I don’t really need a plan for those meal this week.

But I’m sure we’ll eat something more special for breakfast like pancakes or waffles. 

And if we are out and about we are likely to pick up lunch once or twice during the week. 

I’ve also included a few 4th of July treat ideas for your celebration below. 

Dinners

Spaghetti with Meat Sauce, Salad, and Garlic Bread

World’s Best Chicken, Mashed Potatoes, and Home Canned Green Beans

Slow Cooker Hamburger Dish, Salad and Fruit

Italian Chicken, Mashed Potatoes, and Salad

Pan Fried Pork Chops, Mashed Potatoes, and Salad

Grilled Teriyaki Chicken Sandwich, Salad, and Fruit

Hamburgers, Homemade Coleslaw, Macaroni Salad, and Fruit

What’s on your menu this week?

4th of July Treats

Do you need help planning your menu? Find my menu planning tips here with a free printable menu planner page and here for my frugal menu planning tips.

This post contains affiliate links. Thanks for your support.

Find more menu plan ideas at Org Junkie too.

The post Menu Plan Monday, June 24th appeared first on Frugal Family Home.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

You’ve got lots of fresh strawberries. Whether you grew them yourself or found a killer deal at the store. You know those berries won’t keep long in the refrigerator. So you’ll need to freeze them. And here’s how to freezer strawberries, three different ways. Including a lazy way too.

If you grow your own strawberries, you know those yummy home grown berries don’t last long in the refrigerator.

If you find a great deal on strawberries at the store, they’ll only keep up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator.

So instead of gobbling them all up in a couple of weeks, freeze them so you can enjoy the flavor of fresh delicious strawberries in the deal of winter.

It’s easy to do with only a few steps. I’ve made a video to walk you through each method below. Be sure to keep going for strawberry freezing tips too. And the equipment you’ll need.

How to Freeze Strawberries (video tutorial)

I’ve put together a full video of each of the three methods for freezing strawberries. But be sure to scroll down for strawberry freezing tips and how to defrost the strawberries too.

Don’t like videos? Read on to get the 3 methods to freeze strawberries below in written form.

How to Freeze Strawberries, 3 Ways Including 1 Lazy Way - YouTube

Some links in this post are my referral links, which means when you purchase through them I can make a little money at no extra cost to you. See my disclosure page for more information.

The Equipment You’ll Need to Freeze Strawberries

A nice paring knife to help hull the berries.

A strainer to hold the berries while washing them.

A couple of sheet pans to dry and freeze the strawberries on as you prepare them for the freezer.

Paper towels or old dish towels to dry the strawberries on.

Waxed Paper or a Silicone baking sheet liner for freezings the berries.

Container to freeze the strawberries in.

I like these square containers. They fit nicely on the freezer shelf and leave little wasted space.

If you prefer bags, regular freezer bags will work or use these nice reusable freezer bags if you are trying for a zero waste kitchen.

Now you know what you need let’s go through each method in writing. Just in case you didn’t want to watch the video above.

1.  How to Freeze Strawberries without them Sticking Together

This first method for freezing strawberries is great because they won’t stick together.

You’ll need to wash and hull the strawberries. Then dry them on a paper towel. Once dry place them on a lined sheet pan. Then freeze for an hour or two.

Once the berries are fully frozen add them into a freezer bag and place in the freezer. This will keep your frozen strawberries from sticking together.

This method is great to use when you know you’ll be using the strawberries for smoothies or want to take out just a couple at a time.

But it’s more time consuming than the second method which I call the lazy way to freeze strawberries.

2. The Lazy Way to Freeze Strawberries

With this second method you can prep a lot of berries for the freezer quickly.

The only drawback is the frozen berries can stick together. But if you are planning on thawing a whole container at a time, then it won’t be a problem.

You’ll want to hull and wash the berries like the first method. Then place them on a paper towel or towel to drain most of the water off.

Placing a dish towel over a cookie sheet works great for this as long as you don’t mind berry juice getting on the towel.

Once the berries are drained. Load them into the freezer container loosely. Then place the lid or zip the bag, label, and freeze.

So easy! But maybe you want to sweeten your berries first…

3. How to Prepare Strawberries for the Freezer with Sugar

To freeze your berries in sugar isn’t difficult. In fact, it’s nice to have a few quarts of berries frozen this way. They are great for making strawberry shortcake in the winter.

You’ll need to hull and wash your berries first. Drain on a paper towel or towel. Like the other two methods.

Then for every quart of berries, stir in half a cup of sugar. Stir and let sit a minute or two for juice to form.

Spoon berries and juice into containers. Label and freeze. Now all you need to do is thaw the berries and spoon them over ice cream or shortcake for a quick dessert.

Now you know all three methods let’s talk about strawberry freezing tips.

Freezing Strawberry Tips

How do you prepare strawberries for freezing…

Do you hull strawberries before freezing? Yes, you need to hull the strawberries before freezing. If you have home-grown berries, you might use your fingernail to remove the stem and take out the hull.

If you have store-bought berries, you can cut across the top to remove the hull or use the tip of the knife in a circular motion to remove the hull. Any of these ways can work. Want to see each one, take a peek at the video above.

Is it better to freeze strawberries whole or sliced? This all depends on how you’ll be using them once thawed.

I mainly freeze the strawberries whole when I’ll be using them in smoothies or for jam. Like this easy freezer strawberry jam.

But if you will use them for strawberry shortcake or in another recipe.

Slicing them might be best, since you don’t have to thaw them first to use them in a recipe. Like this strawberry muffin recipe.

How to Store Your Strawberries in the Freezer

How do you store strawberries in the freezer? You need to use freezer containers of some sort. You can use a freezer containers or bags.

These freezer containers are ones I really like. They are square so they fit nicely into freezer with very little wasted space.

You can use zipper freezer bags or if you don’t want to use disposable bags, try using silicone reusable bags instead.

Any container can work just make sure they are made for freezer storage so they will hold up and seal the ice crystals out too.

Keeping Strawberries

How long do strawberries last in the freezer? Strawberries will keep well in the freezer for about 12 months. Perfect timing so the freezer will have space for your next harvest or sale.

How to Defrost Strawberries

If you are wondering, can you freeze strawberries and then thaw them? The answer is yes. You can use them frozen but you can thaw them too.

Place the container of strawberries you want to defrost into the refrigerator and leave them until they are thawed. Then use them as you wish.

What about the Nutrients?

Are frozen strawberries as healthy as fresh? When you freeze strawberries without sugar, they have the same nutrients as fresh but you can enjoy them all year long. That’s sound great to me. Who wouldn’t love a nice sweet strawberry in the middle of winter?

How to Freeze Strawberries

3 different ways to freeze strawberries including one easy lazy way.

  • 1 quart Fresh Strawberries
  • 1/2 cup Sugar ((if using sugar))
For All Methods
  1. Hull strawberries and wash to remove any dirt.

  2. Place on a towel or paper towel lined cookie sheet with space between each berry and let drain.

Method 1 Freezing Strawberries without Sticking Together
  1. Once your berries are on the towel lined cookie sheet let them sit until dry, a couple of hours.

  2. Once the berries are dry transfer them to a wax paper or silicone lined cookie sheet. Make sure the strawberries are not touching.

  3. Place the cookie sheet with berries on it in the freezer and freeze for 1-2 hours until berries are frozen and hard.

  4. Transfer frozen berries into a freezer container or zipper freezer bag. Label and place in the freezer.

Method 2 The Easy Way to Freeze Strawberries
  1. Take the strawberries that have been drained on the towel lined cookie sheet and place them loosely into a freezer container or zipper freezer bag.

  2. Label the bag and place in the freezer.

Method 3 Freezing Strawberries with Sugar (great for strawberry shortcake)
  1. Once your strawberries are drained. Cut them in half or in slices and place them into a bowl.

  2. For every quart of strawberries, sprinkle 1/2 cup a sugar on top.

  3. Stir the sugar to coat the berries and let sit a minute or two. Until some juices form.

  4. Scoop berries and juice into a freezer container.

  5. Label and place in the freezer.

To use berries…

You can use the strawberries from frozen or thaw them.

With the individually frozen strawberries are great for smoothies or in recipes that call for whole berries.

The easy frozen berries are great when you need a bunch of strawberries at one time or a cup or two. You can squeeze the freezer container to break them up into smaller amounts and then thaw. Or thaw the whole container.

The berries with sugar added are great for strawberry shortcake any time of the year. Just thaw, stir, and serve over shortcake or even ice cream.

So that is how to freeze strawberries. I use these methods each year to have a variety of frozen strawberries on hand, all year long.

Have Questions? Leave me a comment below and I’ll do my best to help.

More Strawberry Recipes and Growing Tips…

Strawberry Freezer Jam
Roasted Strawberry Rhubarb Jam
How to Grow Sweet Strawberries in Your Garden

The post How to Freeze Strawberries, 3 Ways Including 1 Lazy Way appeared first on Frugal Family Home.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Growing up broccoli wasn’t my friend. I didn’t like the way my mom prepared it or the tough, woody stalks. But it can taste good if you know how to prep and cook it. Here’s how to make broccoli taste good.

I’m sharing 5 different cooking methods so you can decide which way you like it best.

It seems you either love broccoli or you hate it.

I used to fall on the side of hating it. My mom would buy frozen broccoli, the broccoli cuts and boil them.

Can you say yuck? Not only did the broccoli taste waterlogged, but there were so many stalk pieces. The stalk pieces were tough and awful.

So that did nothing to help me love broccoli. I think for years the only way I liked broccoli was in cheddar broccoli soup and that was about it.

But if you know how to prepare broccoli, it doesn’t have to be woody or tough at all.

Preparing the Broccoli to Cook…

Don’t Waste Any Part of the Broccoli

I used to think the only good part of broccoli was the flower or florets. I hated buying broccoli with the stalks on because I saw it as a waste of money but now I see it differently. Since now I can use the stalks.

Don’t throw stalks away.

Instead, you can prep them so they will be just as delicious as the florets. By peeling and chopping them. See the video how here.

Now let’s make the broccoli easier to eat too.

Cut into Bite-Sized Pieces

If you’ve ever purchase broccoli spears in the freezer section, you know how hard they are to eat. Cut your broccoli into bite-sized pieces. So much easier to eat and they cook faster too.

No more trying to elegantly stuff a huge tree like piece of broccoli in your mouth.

5 Cooking Methods for Broccoli To Make it Taste Good

Even if you don’t like broccoli that much, I’m sure one of these cooking methods will make broccoli taste good to you.

You might need to experiment to see which one works best for you. I’d recommend starting with the first cooking method. It’s the one that converted me from a former broccoli hater to a “it’s ok” broccoli person, to finally a broccoli, dare I say it, lover.

How to Cook Broccoli in the Oven

If you really don’t like broccoli, you need to roast it. It’s just plain and simple this is the method for you if you are a broccoli hater. It mellows the flavor and gives it a hint of sweetness.

It’s also the least hands on way to cook broccoli. And if you are baking your main dish, why not roast your broccoli right alongside of it?

If you are making a sheet pan dinner, then you can add the broccoli to one side and the main dish to the other.

See my whole post on how to roast vegetables, it my go to recipe for roasting broccoli or any other vegetable.

How to Cook Broccoli in a Pan

You can cook broccoli in a skillet when you are in a hurry. I like to add a little bacon grease to the skillet. It adds a nice flavor to the broccoli. No bacon grease? Use a little oil instead.

Then add the broccoli and stir-fry it. Just to get it started cooking.

After it’s cooked for about 3 minutes, add 1/4 cup of water to the pan and cover. Let it cook/steam until tender crisp. Usually only a minute or two, you want it still tender crisp.

Then remove the lid and let it cook until the extra water has evaporated.

You can then add garlic powder, salt, pepper, or whatever seasonings you would like. You can even sprinkle a bit of cheese on top and let it melt.

How to Steam Broccoli

Keep it as simple as possible and steam your broccoli. Place a little water in the bottom of a pan. Add a steaming basket, then add the broccoli to the basket. Cover and let steam until tender crisp. Only steam it too tender crisp. You don’t want mushy broccoli.

Test after 5 minutes but it can take up to 10 minutes if the broccoli pieces are large.

Be sure to add seasoning to it after it’s done. Or even a little sprinkling or cheese. Need to go dairy free, try a sprinkling of nutritional yeast instead of cheese. It adds a cheesy flavor with no dairy.

How to Cook Broccoli in the Microwave

This is a simple and easy way to cook broccoli in the microwave. Prepare your broccoli then place it into a microwave-safe dish.

Add a little water, about 3 tablespoons. Then add any seasonings you’d like.

Place the lid on top of the dish or use a plate turned upside down if you don’t have a lid. Microwave on high about 4 minutes. Carefully remove the plate, steam will come out, and check for doneness.

How to Grill Broccoli

In the summer grilling is a great way to prepare broccoli. Here’s how…

Peel the stalks of broccoli, then slice lengthwise. I like to cut them as thin as I can manage.

Brush with oil or bacon grease. Add salt and pepper and then grill on each side until tender crisp.

This makes the broccoli taste so good. It’s my second choice out of these methods, only second to oven roasting.

How to Boil Broccoli

This is probably the least favorite way to cook broccoli (so it’s a bonus item on the list). Well, that is unless you add lots of flavor after cooking or your kids like softer vegetables.

My mom used to boil broccoli to death. And it would squirt water when we chewed it. If you use this method cook only until tender crisp and then season generously.

Place the broccoli into a pan, cover with water. Boil on the stove about 3 minutes or until cooked to desired doneness.

Drain the water off and then season well or add a sprinkling of cheese.

Eating Broccoli Raw and Making it Taste Good Too

And another bonus because raw broccoli is good for you too.

Skip the cooking process altogether and make nice sized rods of broccoli and dip it into your favorite dressing or dip.

Super easy to do and a great way to enjoy broccoli. But if broccoli doesn’t taste good to you, then this method may not be for you.

Saving Money with Frozen Broccoli

Frozen broccoli will work for all of these methods or cooking but I have a little warning about what kind of frozen broccoli to buy.

And when you should spend the money on florets and when to go with other cuts of frozen broccoli.

Purchasing Broccoli Frozen from the Store

I would only recommend purchasing broccoli florets. So much of the other broccoli has tough stems and pieces in it, it’s really not that great.

I made the mistake of purchasing broccoli spears and oh my. The stalks were so tough because they weren’t peeled and we ended up throwing them away. That is the stalks were thrown away, we ate the floret tops. But the stalks were almost impossible to chew.

Even though broccoli florets are more expensive, I believe for using as a side dish or in recipes they are the best value for the money. Because you can eat all of it. But….

When Chopped Broccoli from the Store is OK

Chopped broccoli is great frozen if you’ll be pureeing it for soup. Or adding it to a casserole. And it’s usually less expensive too.

But for stir frying or roasting, it has so many pieces of tough stem, it’s better to just buy broccoli florets or use fresh.

That’s how to make broccoli taste good. I hope one of these methods will be perfect for you and your family to enjoy broccoli. It’s good for you and can be delicious when you prepare it in a way your family will enjoy eating it.

More Vegetable Cooking Tips…

How to Cut Broccoli to Use all of It
How to Roast Vegetables in the Oven
How to Roast Asparagus

Pin it for Later…

The post How to Make Broccoli Taste Good, 5 Cooking Methods appeared first on Frugal Family Home.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

I’ve made another easy menu plan for this week again. We are having breakfast for dinner, one night this week.

Not only does my family love it, but it’s also an inexpensive meal too. My son requested hamburgers again. Which is fine with me. He hasn’t even asked to eat out in a long time, so making hamburgers at home, has seemed to work to curb the requests to eat out.

I’ll also be making a new family favorite of ours glazed pork chops. They are super yummy and easy to make.

We’re having tuna patties with homemade tartar sauce. It’s an easy skillet meal. As well as chicken stir fry. Which is a great way to use up fresh vegetables that may be getting close to going bad. 

I keep the cost down on the pork chops by cutting our own pork chops from a whole pork loin I purchase at Costco. Doing the cutting myself usually save us about $1-2 a pound.

Here’s What’s Cooking at Our House This Week

Dinners

Glazed Pork Chops, Mashed Potatoes, and Green Beans

Chicken Stir Fry and Rice

Hobo Packages and Fruit

Hamburgers and Baked Fries

Waffles, Eggs, and Sausage

Tuna Patties, Rice, Tartar Sauce, and Salad

Chicken Fajitas, Refried Beans, Salad, and Fruit

Lunches

Leftover most days

Crisp Burritos, Salsa and Chips, and Fruit

Sandwiches, Carrot Sticks, and Fruit

Breakfast

Toast, Eggs, and Oatmeal

Baked Donuts, Eggs and Sausage

Chocolate Chip Scones, Eggs and Sausage

What’s on your menu this week?

Do you need help planning your menu? Find my menu planning tips here with a free printable menu planner page and here for frugal menu planning tips.

This post contains affiliate links. Thanks for your support.

Find more menu plan ideas at Org Junkie too.

The post Menu Plan Monday, June 17th appeared first on Frugal Family Home.

Read Full Article

Read for later

Articles marked as Favorite are saved for later viewing.
close
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Separate tags by commas
To access this feature, please upgrade your account.
Start your free month
Free Preview