Meal Planning Helper: Rotisserie Chickens (Video)

rotisserie chicken

 

One of my favorite meal planning tricks is to go to Sam’s Club (or Costco!) and purchase several rotisserie chickens for $5 each. We’ll eat some of the chicken for dinner that night. Then I will strip the meat off of the bone for all of the chickens and freeze it for later use.

 

 

I will take some of the chicken and mix it with either BBQ sauce or gravy and put it in the freezer. I’ll chop up the chicken breast meat and freeze it in one-cup portions. This makes it easy to thaw out and toss into soups, casseroles, stews, etc. I can hardly buy a whole uncooked chicken for $5 at the grocery store, so Sam’s rotisserie chickens save me money as well as time!

Confession Time!

This week’s blog post is by Christine Luken.

I have a confession to make – I think I’m burnt out on couponing.  I have a huge stack of uncut coupons lying next to my binder that I keep trying to avoid.  The thought of spending several hours cutting coupons, weeding out expired ones from my binder, and getting the new ones in there just wears me out thinking about it!  I’m hoping it’s just a phase I’m going through.  I have been super busy working on growing my financial coaching and writing business.  I’m definitely not burnt out on Meal Planning!  In fact, I’ve kicked that up a notch since my schedule’s been hectic.  Has anyone else besides me suffered from a case of “couponing burnout”?

I think it started when Kroger, and then Meijer, quit doubling coupons earlier this year.  I definitely shop at both stores MUCH LESS since they’ve stopped doubling coupons.  Because of this, my shopping habits have changed quite a bit.  I shop at Sam’s Club at least once a month for certain items that I can’t get cheaper anywhere else –with or without coupons.  For our family, that means buying things like cat litter, whole bean coffee, meats (both fresh and frozen), string cheese, turkey sausage patties, kitchen garbage bags, among other things.  I’m also buying almost 100% of my fresh fruits and veggies at my members-only produce co-op.  Sam’s doesn’t accept paper coupons (but has some electronic coupons available to members) and of course, neither does the co-op.  Because of the great prices, this really isn’t an issue.

I notice that I am using electronic coupons more than paper ones for the first time ever.  This certainly is due to the change in double coupon policies.  In the past, if you had an electronic coupon on your Kroger card or Meijer M-Perks account, it wouldn’t be doubled.  So it made sense to use a paper coupon – which would be doubled – instead.  Now, there’s no real advantage to using a paper coupon unless it’s a higher face value.

I’m also using coupons for Kohl’s, Ulta, Hobby Lobby, and Target on my phone.  The nice thing about having these mobile coupons is that they’re always with you.  I never leave home without my phone, and you probably don’t either.  But I have left home without my coupons, which is supremely frustrating!  And of course, I ALWAYS use a coupon code when shopping online and use my favorite cash-back shopping site, FatWallet.com!

I do still shop at Kroger and Meijer when there are good sales going on – which both do this week!  Meijer is running their 10 for $10 Get the 11th Free sale, plus Kroger is having a Mega Sale – Buy 10 Participating Items, Get $5 Off.  So I will be hitting up both of them this week.

So maybe I don’t have couponing burnout – maybe it’s just “paper couponing burnout”!  Just curious, have your couponing habits changed and evolved over time, especially with the demise of double coupons?

Meal Planning Monday ~ The Verdict on Sam’s Club

           

 This week’s post is by Leah Kelley.

I have been looking for ways to cut back on my grocery expenditures lately. I already participate in a local produce co-op and have switched a lot of my grocery shopping to Aldi. I even buy a few staples at the Dollar Store. I have some coupon queen friends who love Sam’s Club, so I decided it was time to give it a try.

This past week, I met up with my mom, who already has a Sam’s membership, to do some shopping. I mainly stuck to the grocery section, but did browse their selection of books, movies, and clothing. I will say this – Sam’s Club does have great prices on books! The clothing department was alright – better than I expected but not great enough for me to buy anything.

I went up and down every single grocery aisle and grabbed a few food samples.  Yes, I did make a few purchases: a 4-pack of Kool-Aid Jammers for $6.98, a box of Red Lobster’s cheddar biscuit mix for $5.98, and a huge container of Sabra Garlic hummus for $3.81. Honestly, I wasn’t super impressed. A lot of the boxed stuff I can buy at Aldi for much less.  Cereal and granola bars can be bought generic at Kroger or with coupons during a great sale for cheaper than Sam’s had them.

Several people told me about Sam’s great meat prices, but I know I can do better with Kroger’s manager specials.  I recently scored a great deal on a pork loin roast, and my family loved the balsamic glaze I used on it.  (Recipe below.)  So for now, I won’t be getting a membership.  (Considering a warehouse membership?  Christine brings up some things to think about in her recent guest post for FatWallet.com.)

 

Balsamic Glazed Pork in Slow Cooker  (Recipe from Mel’s Kitchen Café)

INGREDIENTS:

Pork:

  • 2 pound boneless pork loin roast, trimmed of large fat pockets
  • 1 teaspoon ground sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced or crushed
  • 1/2 cup water

Glaze:

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, light or dark
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce

DIRECTIONS:

In a small bowl, combine the sage, salt, pepper and garlic. Rub the spices all over the roast. Place the pork roast in the slow cooker and pour in the 1/2 cup water. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours. Near the end of the cooking time for the roast, combine the ingredients for the glaze in a small saucepan and bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce and let the mixture simmer, stirring occasionally, until it thickens. Remove the pork from the slow cooker, shred and place on a platter or plate. Drizzle the glaze over the pork and serve.