Sunday, August 24, 2014

Menu Plan Week 87 - Using What We Have

I did have a menu plan last week but never got around to posting it ... things were pretty hectic both at work and at home.

I started going back to the gym and still feel pretty excited about it after the first week ... that says something, doesn't it? Kind of cool in that it's a regular gym with equipment, free weights, treadmills, etc. and THEN there are the 6 heavy bags AND a crossfit setup! Woohoo! I've not ventured into the crossfit stuff yet and most likely will NOT (it scares me, ok??) but the boxing stuff, yeah baby, I'm so all over that! ;-) I was in the best shape when I was doing the boxing stuff a few years back and would really like to get back in to it again. The director at the gym is trying to find a qualified instructor for classes, so in the meantime, it will be me, my new gloves and my memory of some of the workouts!

So anyways ... my dinner plans are a little different now and I am making more effort to prep more on Sunday for the week ahead ... no one wants to come home all sweaty and tired and then cook a full meal, you know? Plus, this week, Hubby is out Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and coming home Friday ... which makes my meal plan much nicer ;-)

I'm also hoping to get more focused on getting the freezers organized as TS Cristobal is once again reminding me that we need to be better prepared.

I am hoping to stay out of the store for anything other than veggies ... you will see that I'm a little heavy on salad stuff this upcoming week ... which is just fine by me ... will need to prep some salad stuff this afternoon ...



Sunday - Bruchetta Chicken ... I've got tomatoes and fresh mozzarella cheese to use up. Chicken in the freezer ... will most likely steam a bag of broccoli in the rice cooker too. Feeding 6. (this is a new recipe and will share if worthy!)

Monday - Buffalo Chicken Salad - chicken in freezer and salad stuff in fridge and pantry. Not sure if I have all the ingredients on hand to make the blue cheese dressing, otherwise I will use bottle blue cheese dressing, unfortunately! Feeding 3.



Tuesday - Simple Shrimp Dish ... shrimp in freezer, I have red peppers in fridge, a few jalapenos so I will need to modify the recipe to use what we have on hand. Feeding 2.



Wednesday - Evil Jungle Steak Salad. Honestly, the only thing I have for this is the steak (freezer) and the salad stuff ... will stop at Whole Foods and pick up a mango and avocado. Probably some cilantro too. I'll skip the pasta. Feeding 3 to 4 (if the girlfriend is around).



Thursday - Thai Style Shrimp Salad ... shrimp in freezer, salad stuff in the fridge (I might need to pick up coleslaw when I get the mango and avocado). Feeding 2.



Friday - Buffalo Chicken Flatbread ... this is something that Princess made for her fantasy football league party. Hubby fell in love with it and I decided to make it myself, only from scratch instead of processed ingredients. Recipe will be posted soon! Feeding 6 to 8.

Saturday - Hubby's choice ... will push him towards to pork tenderloin and make Pork Tenderloin - Ranch Style. I have the pork in freezer and would need to buy more peppers probably, but the rest of the stuff is in the fridge/pantry. Feeding 6 to 8.



What are YOU making this week?

Looking forward to linking up with Menu Plan Monday over at Organized Junkie! Go check it out!

Frugal Activities #26

I am consolidating the past 2 weeks of stuff we've been doing as it's been pretty busy around here, both at work and home ...

Here are some of the Frugal Activities we've done the past 2 weeks ...

1.  Hubby bought beer ... the stuff with the blue mountains. Said he was not buying if not on sale. Ummm ... He wanted to know if $13.99 for a 15 pk was good. Uh yeah. BUY BUY BUY is how I responded to his text. Good deal dude!


2.  We fed 8 total the previous Saturday night using stuff we had on hand. That's pretty impressive if you think about it. Glad I stocked up on the bone in thighs last week at $1.59 a pound. Guess what? They are on sale this week for $1.29 a pound. Time to go buy more.

3.  Still working on the freezer inventory and keep hoping for time to add it to the Pantry Freezer page. I'm slightly embarrassed by how much food I really have and yet I still feel the need to go grocery shopping every week.

4.  Hosted a few friends last Sunday for a pool  float. Made it quite clear that I was NOT drinking or cooking on the grill. This was intended to be a 2 hour quick exposure to the sun and pool. Most of the girls behaved, we had a few who raided the beer fridge. Oh well. I should know better. A few others brought snacks to share all around. And then, I remembered in my inventory and organizing of the freezer we had a few frozen Pina Colada mixes ... and, oh look, theres a bottle of coconut rum that one of you brought over before ... so off we went to the Vitamix and ended the day with a round of pina coladas using what we had on hand.  Then Hubby decided to make some Orange Julius ... sent the kids to the store for a few ingredients (!!) and that's what we did Sunday night (just family and significant others). I will need to share the recipe for these as they were a big hit with all and somewhat healthy.

5.  Menu Planned again. No, we didn't stick with it 100% but at least I had a plan which helps out at the end of the day! Made all lunches and dinners at home. All but TWO breakfast was at home. I didn't post last weeks menu as time got away from me ...

6.  Spent a grand total of $110 these past two weeks at the store. Made it a point to stay far far away from the stores.

7.  Went with a girlfriend to see Big and Rich the previous Thursday night. Free concert sponsored by a local country station and another family sponsor. It was ok. Free and a chance to spend some time with a friend. We took a small cooler with premixed Peach Seabreezes and a veggie platter. However, a bathroom break was needed and of course, we opted to have a few beers ... got home later than I wanted, but didn't spend too much money (heck, beers were $2.50 a bottle and we had buy one get ones!).



8.  Gave myself a manicure and pedicure ... not spa-quality, but good enough for me.

9.  Got myself some new boxing gloves off amazon. Paid a total of 99 cents as I had $30 in giftcards lined up, thanks to Swagbucks!

And of course, full disclosure and some of our NOT so Frugal Activities:

1.  That Thursday night. I did stop in at Costco since I was seriously directly across the street. Ran in and out in 15 minutes, spent $65. Half of that was for towels and work out pants (which does not come off the food budget).

2.  Joined a gym. Not so sure if this falls in to a non frugal activity or not ... $19.95 a month and I'm certainly ambitious enough to get my twenty bucks worth a month.

3.  Had the Tahoe detailed for $140. The did the leather and carpet too ... we are getting ready to put it up for sale and well, lets face it, a clean car is nicer to sell ;-) A week later and we still have NOT listed it for sale ... but it's tucked away nice and snug in the garage.

4.  Stopped at liquor store for some wine to take to the meet and greet the girlfriend's parents. Ummm, should have just stuck with the $30 bottle of chianti ... but no, I saw the Santa Margharita and bought 2 of those too ... $18 a bottle ... AND of course, the 6 pk of corona and the small bottle of bourbon. Can't go empty handed you know. Kept a bottle of SM at home for later enjoyment ;-)

5.  Stopped at a favorite classic car bar after leaving the parents ... spent about $40 between the 2 of us ... Hubby tossed a $20 out and I did too ... we had fun but again, way too late getting home.

And that's all I can remember!!  Looking back at some of this stuff, I'm like DANG we drink a lot of booze! Not really, honestly!

Looking forward to sharing with Money Propeller and The Prudent Homemaker! Go check them both out!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Menu Plan Week 85 - Using What We Have

I am almost done inventorying and organizing the freezers ... we have a LOT of food there ... if you want to see what I have so far, check back and click on the tab above that says Pantry / Freezer Inventory ... I want to try and keep that page updated and hope to have enough time, ambition and willpower to keep it up to date. Wouldn't that be GREAT for future Pantry Challenges and such??

Any way.

We had a fairly frugal week last week with only a few basic stops at the grocery store. Of course, Sunday, Hubby felt compelled to make some Orange Juliuses and sent the kids to the store to pick up a few ingredients ... ugg! But thats ok, the 6 of us really enjoyed them and he felt good making them for all.

Here's what I'm aiming to make for the week ahead:

Sunday - Coconut Chicken! That was the plan ... didn't happen. The air conditioning decided to freeze up while we hung out in the pool ... we ended up doing pizzas from the freezer and leftovers. The great day ended up being a little crabby as the house got warm quickly.

Monday - burgers on the grill for 4. Beef from freezer, will need to buy buns, and cabbage salad on the side (cabbage in fridge, balance of ingredients in fridge and pantry). The house was pretty toasty with the air conditioning being froze up so there was pool time afterwards.

Tuesday - leftovers (chicken, burgers, etc.) for 3 of us.

Wednesday - I believe Hubby is out with business associates and I'm thinking of a simple shrimp dish. Yummm. Shrimp in freezer, peppers in the fridge (will add chili flakes to add heat). If princess is eating with me and wants bread, I'll just use up some hot dog buns in the pantry.



Thursday - Fend for yourself. I'm heading out to a free concert with a girlfriend and Hubby has business plans. I will pack a small cooler for drinks and maybe make a few deli roll ups to take to eat when I get there so I'm not drinking (seabreeze!) on an empty stomach!

Friday - Yeah, it's Friday!  I'd like to do pizza (dough and cheese in freezer) with wings (wings in freezer) ... my thoughts are do the wings in the crockpot and finish them in the oven (sort of along the lines of the damn fine chicken)





Saturday - Hubby's choice ... will push him towards a hunk of beef (again!) that I have in the freezer. 6 to 8 will be eating. I will pick a side depending on what we cook ;-)

Looking forward to linking up with Organized Junkie's Menu Plan Monday ... go check it out!

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Frugal Activities #25

I really like doing this post each week as it makes me stay accountable and think twice about some things!

This past week was somewhat frugal, I'd say ... and also made me think twice about the freezer situation ... if that storm Bertha had headed east instead of more northerly, I would have been scrambling to get the 3 freezers organized a lot quicker than I have been for the past 6 months. Yes. 6 months I've been mumbling that I need to get them inventoried and organized. Hrmp. See how that's coming along?

Any way. It shouldn't take a threat of a hurricane/tropical storm to prompt me to finish a long over due task and I know that. So ... that's what I'm working on!

Here are some of the Frugal Activities that we did this past week:

1.  Allocated myself $30 to shop at Winn Dixie (my least favorite store) to stock up on chicken thighs (both boneless and bone in). Spent $34 and used a $5 off $30 coupons ... walked out with change in my pocket. That's always a good feeling! Bone in was $1.59 a pound and boneless was $2.49 a pound. They didn't have any family packs left so the butcher changed the price on the smaller packages on the shelf which suited me way better as they were already packaged the way I'd want to freeze them!

2.  Did my nails again at home.  The polish is lasting about 10 days which is about 5 days longer than a professional paid for manicure. I attribute that to the chip skip stuff I put on before the polish. I'm thrilled!

3.  Menu planned and stuck with it for the most part. No, not everything was made but at least we had a rough idea of things that we could make with what we had on hand! Breakfast all days, lunch and dinner all but one day each.

4.  Paid all bills that I had on hand for the month online. Reduced the cost of postage and by paying NOW when I have the statement, reduce the chance of any late fees (ahem. In my quest with Comcast to lower my bill that increased by $25 in one month, I failed to catch that it was late. $8 late fee, those b@stards.)

5.  I set up a budget for August. A NEW budget, just for this month. I'm thinking that sometimes re-doing the budget is a necessity.  I am keeping the food at $400. Gave myself $200 for Costco. $100 for beer/wine/booze (and/or bar hopping). $80 gas. $100 entertaining (dinner out). Yes. Looking at that sounds like I'm being stingy on the food budget, doesn't it? If I spent $100 on booze this month, it's only because we'd be entertaining at home ... and honestly, I doubt I'd spend that much (unless I scored a great deal on the Peach Vodka!)

6.  Set up money envelopes and funded all but the last 2 weeks of groceries ($200). So far, so good. Have money left in week 1 envelope and left it in there in hopes of moving it to the savings jar at the end of the month.

7.  Hubby returned an outdoor light that burned out. It's an "Eco Bulb" that is to last 10 years. Smarty pants kept the package and receipt ($5.99) and swapped out the burned out one for a new one. Smart dude, don't you think?

8.  Did fairly well with the grocery store stops this week. $35 at Publix one day and $25 the other day. Made an effort to really stay in line and keep it around $30 to use my $5 off $30.

9.  Listened to Hubby on Friday night when I was tired and cranky. I wanted to order pizza. He convinced me not a good idea money wise or health wise. Not sure which one made me listen. Ended up making deli rollups for myself and a sandwich for him. Hmmm. Oh, yeah, also a seabreeze to try and chill me out ... (didn't work, I was too stressed out). But at least we didn't go out to eat or make bad food choices ;-) Did NOT buy beer on Friday as we usually do, opted instead to drink a less than favorite thats already in the fridge and the aforementioned seabreeze.

And of course, full disclosure and some of our Not So Frugal Activities:

1.  Dinner out with Hubby and Kids on Thursday ... $40. Granted, I DID use coupons and told the Boy that he was treating his sister to dinner (I paid) so that we could use 2 coupons.

2.  Had to take my dad to eye doctor at 9:30 on Tuesday morning. Did NOT pack a lunch so did the dollar menu stop at McDonalds. Could have been worse, believe me!

All in all, I'm fairly pleased with how the week went!

Looking forward to sharing over at Money Propeller and The Prudent Homemaker ... go check out both of them!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Menu Plan Week #84 - Using What We Have

Wow, it's AUGUST! Good grief, where has the past 8 months gone? Those of you with school aged kids have got to be feeling a little pressure that summer is coming to an end and it's time to get back in the school groove ... sort of glad, in an odd way, that I'm past that! But still, it's AUGUST!

Last weeks menu plan was NOT followed all that much. We had leftovers a few nights, salad another night, one other night Hubby pulled out a bag of breaded chicken filets and tater tots and tossed those in the oven. It was just a very weird week, that's all. I'm hoping that this week can be a little more healthier and on track ;-)

With Bertha out there on the horizon, I feel the pressure to really get focused and get the freezers cleaned, inventoried and organized while I have the time to do so. Nothings worse than knowing a storm is heading towards you and 3 freezers stuffed full of stuff in absolutely no order! :-( Fingers crossed that this week I can make some progress while I pull the stuff out as needed for the following evenings dinner.

With that, here's the plan for the week!

Sunday - Dinner Franks on the grill and topped with a variety of toppings (fresh salsa, onions, relish, cheese, etc.) Dogs are in fridge (the Costco dinner size franks) buns were picked up from Costco on Friday (dad run), toppings all from fridge.  Will cut up watermelon to go along side (from Costco)

Monday - Thai Coconut Chicken (again, on the menu, not made yet!). Chicken in freezer, seasoning in pantry. Will make the coconut rice also as I have TONS of basmati rice. Coconut milk in pantry.

Tuesday - thinking I need to do a Taco Tuesday theme so taco salad it is! Beef in freezer, seasoning in pantry, salad, cheese and sour cream in fridge (I am about out of sour cream but that's ok). I will most likely make some guac to replace the sour cream since I do have avocados! I realize I need to do a post on the Guac now!



Wednesday - Crockpot Time ... Teriyaki Chicken. Chicken (thighs) from freezer and same with the veggies, balance of ingredients in fridge/pantry. Will make with MORE rice since I have a lot of rice to be using up ;-)

Thursday - leftovers and/or sandwich and salads. All in fridge and pantry.

Friday - here's hoping the evening is nice and we can grill ... burgers with black bean and corn salad on the side. Beef in freezer, beans and corn in pantry, balance of ingredients in pantry/fridge.



Saturday - Hubby's Choice  ... I have a few big hunks of beef in the freezer that I'd like to use up soon ... so I'm hoping maybe I can convince him to make something yummy with one hunk. Not quite sure yet what I want to do with it though!

Stuck in a rut for meals? Go check out the party at Organized Junkies Menu Plan Monday series ... lots of links to check out!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Crockpot Time! Teriyaki Chicken

Honestly, I wasn't planning on this dish ... but it just popped up on Pinterest, I had everything I needed to make it, and tossed in some more of them veggies from the freezer and called it a day.

The only thing was, I made it Saturday afternoon. Hubby makes dinner on Saturdays. So this was put aside and then consumed on Sunday, reheated in a skillet, not the microwave.

If you do grains, rice, whatnot, this would be excellent served that way. As I TRY not to, I just plopped mine in to a large bowl, sprinkled the sesame seeds over the top and chowed down. I'm thinking next time I will try some Cauliflower Rice to up my veggie intake!


It's simple ... really. BUT I wouldn't call this a meal to have after a long day at work or something  because it only hangs out in the crockpot for 4 to 5 hours ... unless you can set the crockpot to turn on at a certain time?

Here's what you need:

2 lbs boneless chicken. I used chicken breast, only because they defrosted faster. Next time I'll try thighs
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp minced ginger (I use the stuff in the tube)
2 tbs cider vinegar. Umm, I used apple cider vinegar as that's all I had?
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
1/2 tsp or so of black pepper
cornstarch

Cut your chicken in to bite size chunks and toss onto a plate or shallow pan. Sprinkle with cornstarch and toss with hands to coat a little more.

Spray crockpot with non stick spray and toss the chicken in (not the excess cornstarch!)

Mix the balance of ingredients in small bowl and pour over the chicken.

Put lid on the crockpot, turn to high for 4 hours and go shop, swim, exercise, read a book, nap ... do SOMETHING to get out of the kitchen! :-)

DING! 4 hours are up ... go check on the chicken. Does it look happy? Swimming in a little sauce?

At this time, I tossed in the frozen veggies as I didn't want them to be super mushy and let them cook on low for another hour.

THEN I dished it up ...

And took a taste. Smacked my lips and wished like MAD that I had opted to do this on a Sunday afternoon instead!! Did you miss the beginning of this post??

Go ahead, give it a try ... I think you will like it!


Looking forward to linking up with some great blog hops ... make sure you check them out! In and Out of the Kitchen, MemoriesTasty TuesdaysTuesdays At Our HomeHow To TuesdayHandmade TuesdayMaking a HomeShow Me The GoodsTotally Tasty TuesdayAll My Bloggie FriendsShare Your Stuff TuesdayTuesday Talent ShowFat TuesdayPenny Pinching PartyThe Gathering SpotAnti-Procrastination TuesdaysKitchen Tip TuesdaysShow Me What Ya GotWhat's Cooking WednesdayIts a Party!Works For Me WednesdaySugar and SpiceWake Up WednesdayWhatever Goes WednesdayWednesday WhatsitsReal FunWhat I Whipped UpWork It WednesdayLovely Ladies, Weekly CreativeDomestic Superhero, All Things ThursdayThe Weekly CreativeTasty ThursdayFull Plate ThursdayCreate It ThursdayFabulously Frugal ThursdayCrafty Thursday ObsessionsFrugal Food ThursdayShowcase Your TalentThink Tank ThursdaySimple Lives ThursdayFoodie FridayGet Real Frugal FridayFrugal FridaysFood on FridayFreakin Did It FridayFeature FridayThe Pin JunkieFreedom FridayFriday FavoriteFoodie Friday, A peek into my paradiseFoodie Friends FridayFun Friday blog hopFriday FavoritesTGIF BLOG HOPWeekend RetreatWhat’s ShakinWeekend WondersWeekend PotluckGet Him Feed Anything GoesDwell on FridaysFriday Foodfight, Lil Luna Link PartyFoodie FridayTGI Friday Friday with Friends, Simple Living Foodie FridayInspirationsWeekend WanderWeekly RoundupFeature Yourself SaturdayThe Party BunchI Gotta CreateShow and Tell SaturdayShow Off WeekendShow Stopper SaturdaySweet and SavoryThe Weekend CreativeWeekend PotluckWill Cook For SmilesStrut Your Stuff SaturdaySaturday Show & TellSuper Saturday Show & TellSay G'day SaturdayNot Bad SundayPotluck PartySunday ShowcaseSavory SundaySundae ScoopSuper SundayMop It Up MondayCreative MondayThe ScoopMelt In Your Mouth Monday, Pin It PartyDinner Time RecipesShow Me What You GotMade By You MondayHunk of Meat MondaySweet Sharing MondayWhat’d You Do This WeekendMarvelous MessMaking It CuterMotivated MondayTime To SparkleMealtime MondayTime To Sparkle, Makin You Crave MondayClever ChickCreative Corner Blog HopMake Your Own MondayMix it Up Monday,  Save Money MondayLou Lou Girls, Inspire Me Monday 


Saturday, August 2, 2014

Frugal Activities #24

I really like doing this post every week as it keeps me more accountable and thinking twice about some things ;-)

Here are some of the Frugal Activities we did this past week:

1. Menu planned, now that Hubby is back home again for this week at least.  I really worked hard to use WHAT WE HAD ON HAND. No joke, there's a bunch of stuff in the house to eat. Ate all 7 breakfasts at home, made my lunch all 5 days to take to work AND ate at home 6 of the 7 dinners. We did go out one night, just 'because' ... Hubby was wanting a simple night, I guess ;-)  Did we stick to the plan? Heck no, but we still ate plenty of food at home which is the whole purpose!

2.  Opted to go to Aldis for the milk and bread and a few other items (oops, forgot the applesauce!) ... milk is $3.49 vs $4.xx at Publix. Even Whole Foods milk is cheaper than Publix. Took $50 in cash with my goal to only spend $30, tops, hit $45 and put stuff back before I got to the check out lane ... checked out with $42 total. Not quite what I planned but I'm ok with what I bought.

3.  Did my own nails. The last manicure lasted about 10 days ... not so bad for a do it a home mani!

4.  Hubby had emailed the manufacturer of his charcoal chimney grill about ordering some replacement parts. They sent a new leg (was shorter than the others and we had to put a wedge under it), grate and the thing the charcoal sits on for FREE. Ha. We've had this thing for 3 years. He repainted the lid and it looks like new, good for another 3 years at least!

5.  Set up all my debt payments for the month. Also set up what other bills were here already to pay. Used the online banking to pay for everything.

6.  Went to see my dad one night after work (since we are boating over the weekend). He needed a few things so I stopped at Costco (it's right on the way) to pick up for him and also grabbed a container of spring mix for me along with a few other veggies too. I'm proud of myself for not picking up more than I did.  As I was strapped for time, it was seriously IN AND OUT! Spent $65 total (and it was 75% my dads stuff)

7.  Hubby took the Tahoe to get an oil change and the tires rotated at his favorite oil change place (um, he's a car freak and VERY meticulous on his stuff and this place recognizes it!). This is to hopefully facilitate a faster sale of the thing. We've decided that money should be paid towards the first mortgage principal balance.

8.  Made a batch of  honey mustard dressing to go with my spring mix ;-)


9.  Made a batch of stain remover to keep hubby's shirts sparkling white!  Which, geesh, have I STILL not done a post on this? Coming up this week!!

10. Going on boat this afternoon (Saturday) and will empty out both ice makers in the house to dump in cooler. I just can't believe that we STILL pay for ice for the coolers when we have 2 ice makers. The 3rd one (in main kitchen) leaks so we shut the water off to that one. Maybe I should research and have a repair done?

11. Finally returned the steamer I picked up in April. It leaked from the water reservoir and I wasn't overly crazy about. $53 refund ... shopped around a little and picked up 2 cool packages of paper napkins (fun), 2 pretty blue BPA free wine glasses and 2 BPA free margarita glasses. Just an FYI ... the salt does NOT stick to the plastic. I knew this in the back of my mind and still bought them. Oh well, safer outside and on the boat!

And of course, with full disclosure, here are some of the NOT so Frugal Activities we did this week:

1.  Went to dermatologist for my 6 month 'beauty treatment'. Ahem. I'm 50, ok? Hubby made a big mistake in listening to my whining around Christmas and paid for half of the first time. Do I really need to tell you what its' for? Ahem. Botox. Or really, Dysport. Yes, it's a very NON FRUGAL thing but for me, it's worth it. Luckily there was a special of 20% off this month so I saved quite a bit. Yes, I am looking refreshed and way happier (the alternative would be to have an eye lift, which, to me, is way invasive!

2.  Hubby and I went to our favorite pub to grab some food and a couple of beers. We came home and evaluated the tab and decided maybe, just maybe, next time, get the food to go and drink our OWN beer at home as half the tab was the 4 beers (at $4 and $5 a pop). Or we could just suck it up and make our own food, even when we don't feel like it ;-)

All in all, not a lot of Not So Frugal activities this week!  Did you notice, no real store shopping except Aldis last weekend?

Looking forward to sharing over at Money Propeller and The Prudent Homemaker ... go check them both out!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Party Taters - aka Crack Taters

This dish has so many names, come to find out!  So I just decided to keep it my way and call it "Party Taters" ... and like that evil Warmed Cheesy Onion Dip, it's addictive, hence, the AKA part ...

During the months of November and December, the frozen hash brown coupons come out like crazy and the sales are over the top ... remember this and stock up your freezer during that time.  And of course, hopefully, while you are trying to do a pantry challenge in the middle of summer, you will be able to remove a bag and make a little dent in the freezer!



Here's what you need ... and of course, it's simple ;-)

1 large bag of frozen, shredded hash browns
2 16 oz containers of sour cream
2 bags (6oz) of bacon bits (oh heck, just buy the BIG bag from Costco or make your own as those little bags are a waste of money!)
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
2 packages of powdered ranch dip dressing mix (make sure you are using the dressing packet, not the DIP)

Combine everything except the hash browns in a large baking dish bowl. Use a bowl, PLEASE, the baking pan is going to be too small to mix it well.

Add in taters, and mix well. Spread out in the baking dish and smooth out the top to make it even.

Bake at 400 degrees for about an hour til nice and golden brown. Keep an eye on it in the last 15 minutes as you might want to take it out sooner (mine was getting really crispy around the edges which is what Hubby likes) 

Serve up and ENJOY!


Looking forward to linking up with some great blog hops ... make sure you check them out! In and Out of the Kitchen, MemoriesTasty TuesdaysTuesdays At Our HomeHow To TuesdayHandmade TuesdayMaking a HomeShow Me The GoodsTotally Tasty TuesdayAll My Bloggie FriendsShare Your Stuff TuesdayTuesday Talent ShowFat TuesdayPenny Pinching PartyThe Gathering SpotAnti-Procrastination TuesdaysKitchen Tip TuesdaysShow Me What Ya GotWhat's Cooking WednesdayIts a Party!Works For Me WednesdaySugar and SpiceWake Up WednesdayWhatever Goes WednesdayWednesday WhatsitsReal FunWhat I Whipped UpWork It WednesdayLovely Ladies, Weekly CreativeDomestic Superhero, All Things ThursdayThe Weekly CreativeTasty ThursdayFull Plate ThursdayCreate It ThursdayFabulously Frugal ThursdayCrafty Thursday ObsessionsFrugal Food ThursdayShowcase Your TalentThink Tank ThursdaySimple Lives ThursdayFoodie FridayGet Real Frugal FridayFrugal FridaysFood on FridayFreakin Did It FridayFeature FridayThe Pin JunkieFreedom FridayFriday FavoriteFoodie Friday, A peek into my paradiseFoodie Friends FridayFun Friday blog hopFriday FavoritesTGIF BLOG HOPWeekend RetreatWhat’s ShakinWeekend WondersWeekend PotluckGet Him Feed Anything GoesDwell on FridaysFriday Foodfight, Lil Luna Link PartyFoodie FridayTGI Friday Friday with Friends, Simple Living Foodie FridayInspirationsWeekend WanderWeekly RoundupFeature Yourself SaturdayThe Party BunchI Gotta CreateShow and Tell SaturdayShow Off WeekendShow Stopper SaturdaySweet and SavoryThe Weekend CreativeWeekend PotluckWill Cook For SmilesStrut Your Stuff SaturdaySaturday Show & TellSuper Saturday Show & TellSay G'day SaturdayNot Bad SundayPotluck PartySunday ShowcaseSavory SundaySundae ScoopSuper SundayMop It Up MondayCreative MondayThe ScoopMelt In Your Mouth MondayDinner Time RecipesShow Me What You GotMade By You MondayHunk of Meat MondaySweet Sharing MondayWhat’d You Do This WeekendMarvelous MessMaking It CuterMotivated MondayTime To SparkleMealtime MondayTime To Sparkle, Makin You Crave MondayClever ChickCreative Corner Blog HopMake Your Own MondayMix it Up Monday,  Save Money MondayLou Lou GirlsInspire Me Monday