Personalized Nachos plus a Food Lion Giveaway

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. I am a Food Lion blogger, and I joined their blogger program because we share the same mission–to help you feed your family for less. 

Personalized Nachos | Food Lion Dish it Up and Giveaway | MoneywiseMoms

Food Lion has another awesome Dish it Up promo running this week, so take advantage of it! Through Tuesday, March 24th, when you buy both Food Lion Tortilla Chips and Kraft Velveeta, you get Chi-Chi’s Salsa, Chi-Chi’s Tortillas, and McCormick Seasoning for FREE. Then click over to Food Lion to get their Cowboy Quesadillas and Amazing Nachos recipes. While you’re there, you’ll find more Dish it Up recipes to help you get dinner done quickly and easily. Both recipes are just perfect for a March Madness game-watching night! I adapted one to create these Personalized Nachos for an easy weeknight family dinner.

Dish It Up Promo | Amazing Nachos | Food Lion Giveaway

I picked up all the fixings for our Personalized Nachos (including my three FREE items), plus some extras– green peppers, tomatoes, lettuce, black beans and green onions for some healthy toppings.

Personalized Nachos | Food Lion Dish it Up and Giveaway | MoneywiseMoms

 

Wash and chop your veggies (did you watch that free knife skills video yet–I learned a lot!). Or, use this opportunity to get the kids involved. Mine are so proud to announce when they help prep dinner, and they’ve gotten pretty good at chopping vegetables with practice. It was also easy for them to cube the Velveeta, since it’s so soft.

Personalized Nachos | Food Lion Dish it Up and Giveaway | MoneywiseMoms

For a family meal, I suggest letting each person pile a plate with chips and add some Velveeta cubes. Then just microwave each plate for 1 minute on high, and let everyone do their own toppings (the kids and hubby love that!). If you’re prepping for a party, add 1 pound of cubed Velveeta to a microwave-safe bowl, cover, and microwave for 5 minutes, stirring halfway through. You can even add seasonings right to the melted cheese.

Personalized Nachos | Food Lion Dish it Up and Giveaway | MoneywiseMoms

My family loved having a bunch of toppings to choose from: cooked chicken, black beans, tomatoes, lettuce, green peppers, onions and black olives. Don’t forget the salsa and sour cream! With Personalized Nachos, everyone gets to make their own choices and enjoy.

 

Food Lion Giveaway

Food Lion wants to help you Dish it Up with easy, frugal meals (my favorite!). Two lucky MoneywiseMoms readers will each win a $50 Food Lion Gift Card. If you’re reading in an email subscription or feed, please click over to the post so you can use the Rafflecopter entry form. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway ends at 11:59pm ET on Friday, March 27th. Each winner will have 48 hours to reply back to their prize email from me, otherwise, I will have to choose alternate winners.

 

Moneywise Menu Plan 3/15: Eating from the Freezer

While it was a bit of work getting the freezer stocked with casseroles and bags for the slow cooker, I’m reminded this week why it’s worth the extra trouble. Instead of a week of hectic evenings with me standing at the stove, we’re eating from the freezer, which allows us to eat healthy and save money. It also made my weekly shopping trip fast and cheap–just milk and produce! We are going out on Friday night–for a big birthday dinner–but three of our meals are free thanks to birthday coupons and a rewards program. That’s the best way to do it!

Moneywise Menu Plan 3-15 Eating from the Freezer | MoneywiseMoms

 

Moneywise Menu Plan – 3/15

Sunday: Grilling burgers and veggies with our neighbors (yay for nice weather!)
Monday: Green Chile Chicken Casserole (from the freezer) with salad
Tuesday: Sausage, Zucchini & Mushrooms with Homemade Spaghetti Sauce and pasta
Wednesday: Chicken Caesar Casserole (from the freezer) and broccoli
Thursday: Slow Cooker Tortilla Soup and cornbread
Friday: Eating out for the twins’ birthday
Saturday: Broccoli Rice Casserole with added chicken (from the freezer) and salad

Eating from the freezer, even when it’s just dumping a bag of pre-cut veggies and meat into the slow cooker, makes our weeknights go so much smoother. All three kids are working on research projects right now on top of regular nightly homework, and I’m able to help with this instead of standing at the stove.

Menu Plan Resources

Free Cooking Classes for Better Home Cooking

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, but I only recommend what I love. Thanks for supporting MoneywiseMoms at no additional cost to you.

No question, cooking at home is a major way to save money every month. Rather than bust the budget eating out, why not learn some new skills to make you more comfortable in the kitchen? Whether you’re new to home cooking or just stuck in a rut, these FREE Cooking Classes can teach you some new skills and make cooking easier and more fun. You don’t even need to leave the house (see option three)!

Free Cooking Classes for better home cooking | MoneywiseMoms

Williams-Sonoma Stores

Williams-Sonoma stores hold in-store events, including FREE cooking classes on topics like knife skills, holiday baking, and entertaining. Each class is an hour long and includes tastings of prepared dishes. You do need to register ahead of time (via phone) since class size is limited.

Local Grocery Stores

Some regional grocery store chains offer cooking classes. For example, the Giant chain in Pennsylvania has two locations for The Cooking School, offering classes for kids, adults and seniors. Some Wegmans stores also offer cooking classes, though not all are free. Our local Whole Foods offers both free and paid cooking classes; check your local store’s “events” tab for the calendar and how to register.

Online at Craftsy

Try one of Craftsy’s FREE mini courses to better your home cooking skills. Right now, they’re offering some great options:

  • Cooking Mistakes: What Can Go Wrong and How To Make it Right: I really liked this instructor, and I found the chapters on knife safety and seasoning the most useful for my home cooking. There’s also some tips & tricks for saving time while entertaining, how to properly cook chicken and steak, and the class materials include some great recipes.
  • Perfect Pizza at Home:  This includes recipes for five types of dough (including a gluten-free option) and more to make your family’s pizza night delicious.
  • Creative Ways With Whole Grains (w/ Anna Bullett): Learn how to get past white rice, learning methods and recipes for cooking quinoa, farro, and pilafs.
  • Complete Knife Skills: This is next on my list to watch. I liked the short section in the Cooking Mistakes class and know I have more to learn. Getting faster will help me prep more healthy freezer meals!

Vegetarian Mexican Breakfast Casserole

Do you have company coming or another reason to feed a crowd (or is your family the crowd)? This Mexican Breakfast Casserole is easy to pull together with whole foods and bakes up to a delicious breakfast, brunch, or even breakfast-for-dinner. My family likes it with salsa and Tabasco on the side. We love having breakfast for dinner, and this is a nice, hearty casserole that fills us up.

 

Vegetarian Mexican Breakfast Casserole | easy whole foods recipe | MoneywiseMoms

Mexican Breakfast Casserole
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
Ingredients
  • 1 lb potatoes, peeled and finely diced (or a bag of frozen hash browns)
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 12 eggs
  • 1⁄2 cup skim milk
  • 1 can (4 oz) diced green chilies
  • 1 1⁄2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 and prepare a 9 x 13 baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. Add potatoes to bottom of dish and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  3. Sprinkle the onion and red pepper over the potatoes. Add half the green chiles and about half of the cheese to the top.
  4. In a bowl, mix the eggs, milk and remaining green chiles.
  5. Pour over the potato and vegetable mixture, then top with the rest of the cheese.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 - 55 minutes. Check for doneness by inserting a knife in the center.

 

If you have leftovers, they’re easy to reheat and serve in a tortilla for a morning breakfast burrito. That’s also a way to stretch out the main casserole if you’re feeding more than 8 people. Enjoy!

Vegetarian Mexican Breakfast Casserole | easy whole foods recipe | MoneywiseMoms

For more easy, family-friendly casserole recipes, follow my Capitivating Casseroles board on Pinterest.

 

Linked up to Real Food Recipe Roundup at JoLynneShane, Tasty Tuesdays at Creative K Kids, Handmade Tuesdays at Ladybug Blessings, DIY Craft and Recipe Linkup at The SITS Girls, Weekend Bloggy Reading at Serenity Now, and On Display Thursday at Average But Inspired.

Moneywise Menu Plan 3-8: More Freezer Meals

Last week, between the sick days (both my daughter and me) and three snow/ice days off school, I managed to fill the freezer with a several casseroles and bags of slow cooker meals. It felt great! Going into this week, we’re expecting better weather and hopefully we’ll all be healthy. I’ll cook when I can but it’s good to know those meals are in the freezer to pull out and make dinner prep easy. A good goals is to add one or two more freezer meals to storage each week so we don’t run out.

Moneywise Menu Plan - easy frugal meals that are family friendly including more freezer meals

Moneywise Menu Plan – 3/8

Sunday: Turkey Parmesan Pasta and salad
Monday: Vegetarian Mexican Breakfast Casserole
Tuesday: Slow Cooker Pork Tacos with tortillas, black beans, brown rice & toppings
Wednesday: One Pot Chicken Lo Mein
Thursday: Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Sandwiches with carrots/celery/cucumbers & ranch
Friday: Chicken Soup and homemade breadsticks
Saturday: Burgers and homemade fries with salad

If you’re looking for an easy way to get started with freezer cooking, take a look at the meal plans at $5DollarDinners. Erin has created packs that include recipes, shopping lists, and all the directions you need. With her instructions, you can prep 20 meals for $150 or less! She even has packs with gluten-free freezer meals and those based on your favorite stores (Costco, Sam’s Club, etc.). Thanks for using my affiliate link (which helps support MoneywiseMoms at no additional cost to you).

20 Meals from Any Grocery Store for Less Than $150 - Slow Cooker Freezer Packs, 2nd Edition
 

This week, Erin is releasing her 7th plan, this time with 85 recipes for breakfasts and snacks, all for less than $150. I’m excited to see this one and give it a try. I’ll be sure and write up a review as soon as I’ve tried the recipes.

Menu Plan Resources

Moneywise Menu Plan 3/1: Freezer Cooking to the Rescue!

What a winter! Are you snowed/iced in and sick of school snow days like we are here? It’s been very hard to get out and buy groceries, so I made a big push around icy roads, a rescheduled swim meet, and a very sick kiddo to hit three stores and get everything I needed to do two small freezer cooking sessions. To stick with my goal of cooking 6 of 7 days of the week without having to actually cook that often, I planned out some similar meals and a few hours to get all the work done. Now my freezer is stocked with healthy and frugal meals, and I have lots of options for both the slow cooker and oven.

Moneywise Menu Plan - easy frugal meals that are family friendly

Moneywise Menu Plan – 3/1

Sunday: Slow Cooker Pork Ragu & Fettuccine and green beans
Monday: Leftovers (they scrounged the fridge while I was out food shopping)
Tuesday: Broccoli Rice Casserole (I added cooked chicken)
Wednesday: Homemade Spaghetti Sauce with pasta and vegetables, plus Caesar salad
Thursday: Slow Cooker Teriyaki Pork, broccoli and brown rice
Friday: Pizza and salad for family movie night (we just got Big Hero 6!)
Saturday: Slow Cooker Tortilla Soup and cornbread

I prepped zipper bags of slow cooker meals, plus some casseroles either in zipper bags or Pyrex dishes (affiliate link). Now my freezer is full, and feeding the family is a whole lot easier.

Menu Plan Resources

Healthy Valentine Food for Kids

This post includes affiliate links. Thanks for supporting MoneywiseMoms at no extra cost to you!

Healthy Valentine Food for Kids | MoneywiseMoms

With no shortage of sweets available for Valentine’s Day, think about some ways to add a little fun to your kids’ meals with this roundup of Healthy Valentine Food for Kids. I’m not the kind of mom to do Bento-style lunches, but I am willing to wield a heart-shaped cookie cutter to celebrate this weekend. I’ve found the easiest ways to add some hearts & love to their day. Let’s start with breakfast, then move on to fun food for lunch and dinner:

 

Valentine French Toast | Healthy Valentine Food for Kids | MoneywiseMoms

Valentine French Toast from Happy Hooligans

So easy! Just cut the bread with a heart cookie cutter before making. She also includes an easy French Toast recipe.

 

Heart Shaped Fruit Kebabs | Healthy Valentine Food for Kids | MoneywiseMoms

Heart Shaped Fruit Kebabs from Life in Wonderland

Use those handy cookie cutters on sliced of melon for a fun fruit salad or these cute kebabs. Click through to check out the fun puzzle piece watermelon–the kids will love it!

 

Valentines Day Egg in the Basket | Healthy Valentine Food for Kids | MoneywiseMoms

Valentine’s Day Egg in the Basket from Reclaiming Provincial

If your kids like sunny-side up eggs, surprise them with this fancy version of breakfast.

 

Valentine Shaped Pancakes | Healthy Valentine Food for Kids | MoneywiseMoms

Valentine Heart-Shaped Pancakes from One Creative Mommy

Such a clever idea! She uses a squeeze bottle to draw and fill in the heart shape (and a Mickey, too!).

 

Heart Shaped Egg | Healthy Valentine Food for Kids | MoneywiseMoms

Heart Shaped Hard Boiled Eggs from Anna the Red

Anna shows an easy way to shape a hard-boiled egg into a heart using cardboard and a chopstick, but there’s also a heart mold you can buy.

 

Valentine Heart Pizza | Healthy Valentine Food for Kids | MoneywiseMoms

Valentine Heart Pizza from Coupon Clipping Cook

Pizza is healthy? It can be! When you make your own at home, you control the ingredients, can include whole wheat in the crust, and there’s so much less fat & sodium than delivery pizza. Nancy’s version has ham & swiss, but you can use whatever ingredients your family enjoys.

Cherry Tomato Hearts | Healthy Valentine Food for Kids | MoneywiseMoms

Cherry Tomato Hearts from Eye Candy

Learn an easy way to create hearts from grape or cherry tomatoes, then set up a veggies & dip appetizer or snack.

 

Valentine Veggies | Healthy Valentine Food for Kids | MoneywiseMoms

Roasted Valentine Veggies from Unconventional Kitchen

Cut potatoes and beets into heart shapes before roasting. Then serve with Desiree’s Skinny Greek Yogurt Dip.

 

Homemade Pita Chips | Healthy Valentine Food for Kids | MoneywiseMoms

Homemade Pita Chips from Meaningful Mama

Same idea–open pita breads and use cookie cutters to make the shapes before baking. Then dip into hummus or a healthy dip!

 

Heart Shaped Carrots in Soup | Healthy Valentine Food for Kids | MoneywiseMoms

Chicken Soup with Heart-Shaped Carrots from Sophistimom

If you’re having wintry weather this Valentine’s Day, you’ll find a delicious chicken soup recipe along with a great photo tutorial on how to cut heart carrots.

 What is your favorite Healthy Valentine Food for Kids?

 

Linked up to Weekend Bloggy Reading at Serenity Now, On Display Thursday at Average But Inspired, Valentine’s Day Link Up at The SITS Girls, Tasty Tuesday at CreativeKKids, Valentine’s Day Link Up at 5 Minutes for Mom and Valentine’s Day Link Up at So Simply Stephanie.

Moneywise Menu Plan 2/8

I hope you’re finding these weekly menu plans helpful. I cook frugal, healthy meals, and they’re all easily replicated. This week, I was in a casserole mood, so I took a little time on Sunday afternoon to cook ahead in order to save weeknights for working on homework and hanging out with the kids. That’s a strategy I used when my kids were toddlers, and it works just as well now that they’re school-aged. It’s worth spending an hour or two on the weekend to free up time later, when I can just pull a casserole out of the fridge or freezer, stick it in the oven, and feed the family.

Moneywise Menu Plan 2-8 | Weekly Menu Plans at Moneywise Moms

Moneywise Menu Plan – 2/8

Sunday: Chicken breasts with sauteed mushrooms, saffron rice and cauliflower
Monday: Crustless Italian Spinach Pie and cornbread
Tuesday: Crockpot Beef & Broccoli with brown rice
Wednesday: Vegetarian Baked Ziti
Thursday: Broccoli Rice Casserole (I’ll add cooked chicken)
Friday: Leftovers Smorgasbord plus a salad
Saturday: Valentine Pizza (homemade crust in the shape of a heart) and leftover salad

Not sure if you’ve noticed, but another strategy I use to make my weekly menu plans quickly is using themed nights. Mondays tend to be meatless; Tuesdays are taco-related; we often have leftovers on Friday or Saturday evening as long as I’ve planned large-portioned meals (like casseroles) earlier in the week.

Menu Plan Resources

Slow Cooker Hamburger Soup

Hamburger Soup?! My kids get excited when they hear it’s for dinner. Because I buy ground beef in bulk, and cook it all at once with chopped peppers and onions, then freeze it–I have several bags in the freezer at any given time. That makes this Hamburger Soup an easy load-the-slow-cooker-and-walk-away meal, rather than having to thaw and brown the ground beef the same night. It can also be made on the stovetop, see below for instructions.

Hamburger Soup | easy frugal crockpot slow cooker meal | MoneywiseMoms

If you’re not a fan of these vegetables, put in whatever your family likes (corn, a can of diced tomatoes, zucchini, etc.) I use mushrooms, carrots and red potatoes to go along with the onion and peppers that I put in my freezer-bagged ground meat mix.

Hamburger Soup
Serves: 8 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 1 lb ground beef, browned and drained
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 4-5 red potatoes, cubed
  • 8oz white mushrooms, thickly sliced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 6 cups beef broth
  • 1 Tbsp oregano
  • 1 Tbsp basil
  • 1 Tbsp parsley
Instructions
  1. Add all ingredients to slow cooker and stir to combine.
  2. Cook on low for 7-10 hours.

I made mine in the slow cooker so I could leave it and walk away. But this recipe also works fine on the stovetop: Using the same pre-cooked beef, let simmer for 45-60 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.

Need a yummy bread to serve on the side? Try 10 Sensational Sides for Soups & Stews. I’ve also shared my favorite Fall Slow Cooker Soups.

 

Hamburger Soup is linked up to Real Food Recipe Roundup at JoLynne Shane, Talented Tuesday Link Party at Cook Craft Love, Inspire Us Tuesdays at Two Little Cavaliers, On Display Link Party at Average But Inspired, Pin Junkie Pin Party at The Pin Junkie and Tasty Tuesdays at CreativeKKids.