How to Cook Bacon in the Oven

How to Cook Bacon in the Oven

We all love bacon at our house and although we try not to eat a lot of it, we sure enjoy when it’s on the menu! Once or twice a month we like to make breakfast for dinner since we’re usually way to busy to make a big breakfast in the mornings and it’s fabulous to be able to walk away from the bacon while it’s cooking to take care of all the other dishes like ham, eggs and grits.

How to Cook Bacon in the Oven

In addition to not having to stand over the stove and flip the bacon, you also don’t have to deal with spatter when you cook bacon in the oven, plus it cooks up so pretty and flat and the grease drips off to the cookie sheets below.

How to Cook Bacon in the Oven

Bacon comes out perfect every time when you cook it on baking racks in the oven! It’s fast, easy and there’s less mess so cleanup is simple. All you have to do is allow the grease to cool and scrape it into the garbage. Once you try this method you’ll never want to go back to pan frying again.

How to Cook Bacon in the Oven
 
Author:
Recipe type: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Ingredients
  • 1 package bacon
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Place baking racks on top of two cookie sheets and lay strips of bacon evenly spaced on each rack.
  3. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, or from 20 to 23 minutes for thick bacon, until desired crispiness.
  4. Carefully remove from oven as the grease in the cookie sheets will be HOT.
  5. Allow bacon to cool and serve.

 

Frugal Friday – Show Off Your Shops!

This week I bought a total of $94.33 worth of groceries and toiletries for $35.35, or 63% off. I love to see the deals that other frugal shoppers come up with because it’s so inspiring and I really dig having a visual way that we can all share our deals and Show Off Our Shops! Please post a link below to any or all of the deals that you’d like to show off this week. If you don’t have a blog to link up, just leave a comment and tell us all about your deals or upload a picture to Flickr or PhotoBucket and link to that ;)

My 2/3 Publix Trip – $94.33 for $35.35 or 63% Off


7 Things You Can Do With Your Instant Pot Pressure Cooker

7 Things You Can Do  With Your Instant Pot Pressure Cooker

What’s an Instant Pot? It’s the latest kitchen gadget that everyone is raving about! The Instant Pot pressure cooker does the job of 7 kitchen appliances all in one saving you space, money, and time. Are you debating about whether to get one? Not sure what your new gadget can really do? Here are 7 awesome things the Instant Pot can do:

1) Skillet dinners

Who needs popular boxed skillet dinners when you can make them from scratch in the Instant Pot? You can use the skillet function to brown your meats and saute your veggies, create your sauce and toss in the pasta of your choice. When cooking pasta in the sauce itself you prevent the foaming that can happen when cooking pasta in a pressure cooker. Cook your favorite pasta for 5-8 minutes and release the steam before opening for a quick and delicious meal.

2) Cook beans in an instant

Cooking with dry beans can be a challenge. Soaking takes forever and they take even longer to cook through so they can be eaten. Dry beans are such a frugal food and the Instant Pot helps you save money and time when cooking bean dishes. You can cook dry beans in just 8-9 minutes, plumping them up and breaking down the hard to digest sugars in the beans. Beans cooked in a pressure cooker may look a little odd due to the skins ripping as the beans cook faster than normal but it does not affect the quality or taste. Now with the Instapot you can make a pot of chili in just 30 minutes in ONE POT!

3) Make your own yogurt

Yogurt is a great food for your family but the cost can add up fast. With the Instant Pot you can make yogurt at home very easily without getting another appliance. When you make yogurt in a slow cooker you have to check on often it to ensure that it stays warm enough over a long period of time or the whole batch can be lost. With the Instapot programmable settings you can set it and forget it. The Instant Pot will keep the yogurt at the right temperature until the set time is up.

4) Perfect Rice

Another appliance the Instapot replaces is the rice maker. The Instant Pot makes perfect tender rice with it’s own timer so it always comes out just right. The rice cooking setting uses low pressure. Cook rice with water at a 1:1.25 ratio for 10 minutes for the best rice ever.

5) Steam your veggies in a flash

The Instant Pot also replaces your regular veggie steaming process. Steamed veggies are great for you as it preserves their vitamins and minerals without added calories, fat, or chemicals. For this one you will need an oven proof or steel bowl raised on a trivet in the cooker and water in the bottom. You can even add more flavor by placing spices in the bowl.

6) Replace your slow cooker

Take a deep breath. YES you can replace your slow cooker and you will never want to turn back. The Instant Pot can cook meals in a fraction of the time a slow cooker can without losing the tender juiciness we all love from our slow cookers. It get’s better. For those times when ONLY a slow cooker will work? Well the Instapot does that too! The easy to use slow cooker setting on the Instant Pot will do the trick while not taking up the room of an extra appliance. It even keeps dishes warm which is perfect for holidays and get togethers.

7) Saute

Yes, the Instant Pot has a saute option that makes creating the perfect stir fry a breeze allowing you to completely limit great meals to the use of ONLY the Instant Pot. You can make a great stir fry without ever turning on a hot stove. Even cuts of meat can be prepared anywhere you have a working outlet.

This Instant Pot is a great investment for your family. Cooking with high pressure reduces cooking time by up to 70% and the low pressure setting avoids overcooking delicate food. It replaces multiple kitchen tools and appliances, reduces cooking and clean up time, and even saves electricity over favorite appliances like your rice maker and slow cooker saving you more money in the long run.

My 2/3 Publix Trip – $94.33 for $35.35 or 63% Off

My 2/3 Publix Trip - $94.33 for $35.35 or 63% Off

This Margaritaville Shrimp Scampi is delicious so I always have to grab a couple packages when it goes on BOGO. With the B2G1 coupon for DiGiorno pizzas in last Sunday’s paper and the sale at Publix this week I got a great deal on the pizzas and the kids will be happy too since I got everybody’s favorites. Today I bought $94.33 worth of groceries for $35.35, or 63% off after coupons and $10/$50 Apple Market q from today’s paper. Here are the deals:

Margaritaville Shrimp or Calamari, Assorted Varieties, 8 or 10 oz, BOGO $8.99
-$1/1 Margaritaville Seafood Item printable
-$1/1 Margaritaville Seafood Item printable (I used two of these)
-$1/1 Margaritaville Seafood Item printable
Final Price: $3.50 each

Kraft Chunk or Shredded Cheese, Assorted Varieties, 6 to 8 oz, BOGO $4.29 or $2.15 each

DiGiorno Pizza, Assorted Varieties, 17.2 to 36.4 oz, 2/$10
-$1.50/2 Digiorno Pizzas, 01/03 SS (exp 2/29) [10.6-oz.+]
-$5/$30 Nestle Frozen Food Products (SavingStar Deposit) [Includes Digiorno Pizza, Stouffer’s, Nestle Toll House, Lean Cuisine, Lean Pockets, Hot Pockets, Nestle Frozen Snacks, Edy’s, Drumstick, Outshine, Tombstone, Jack’s, Skinny Cow or Purina Frosty Paws]
-B2G1 Digiorno Pizzas, 01/31 RP (exp 2/8) [10.6-oz.; Up to $6.70] (I used one of these)
Final Price: $3.34 each

General Mills Cheerios Cereal, Assorted Varieties, 10.9 to 14.1 oz,  BOGO $3.83
-$1/2 Cheerios cereals: Original Cheerios, Honey Nut Cheerios, Multi Grain Cheerios, Multi Grain Cheerios Peanut Butter, Apple Cinnamon Cheerios, Frosted Cheerios, Chocolate Cheerios, Banana Nut Cheerios, Fruity Cheerios, Honey Nut Cheerios Medley Crunch… (SavingStar Deposit)
-$1/2 Cheerios, Honey Nut, Frosted, Apple Cinnamon or Multi Grain Publix Coupon 01/17 SS (exp 2/13)
-$1/3 General Mills Big G Cereals, 1/10/16 SS (exp 2/20/16)
-$0.75/1 General Mills Cheerios, Honey Nut Cheerios, Or Multi-Grain Cheerios, Any Box Tearpad (exp 4/30/2016)
-$1/2 General Mills Cheerios Cereals, Any Flavor – Found On Product Peelie (exp 11/9/2016)
Final Price: $1.92 each

Publix Fruit Juice Cocktail, 59 oz, 2/$4.00

Welch’s Refreshingly Simple Juice Beverage, Assorted Varieties, 59 oz, BOGO $2.99 or $1.50 each

Oscar Mayer Beef Franks, Assorted Varieties, 14 or 15 oz, BOGO $5.79 or $2.90 each

Hormel Pepperoni, Assorted Varieties, 5 or 6 oz, 3/$10
-$1/2 Hormel Pepperoni Products Printable
-$1/2 Hormel Pepperoni printable
-FREE Movie Ticket MIR wyb Hormel Pepperoni Products (SS 06/21/15 R) [hormel.com/pan, good while supplies last]
Final Price: $3.33

Smithfield Ham Slice, Maple or Honey, Smoked, Boneless, 8 oz, BOGO $3.59 or $1.80 per package

New to couponing? Check out our Couponing 101 page and learn how to save a little or A LOT! Also visit our Strategic Shopping page to learn how a few small, painless changes in the way you shop can result in HUGE savings!  Find any coupon in our new coupon database, order coupons you need, and you can download the FREE coupon toolbar here.

Make Your Own Chocolate Hearts for Valentine’s Day

Make Your Own Chocolate Hearts for Valentine's Day

Valentine’s Day is coming up shortly and I absolutely love to make gifts for my friends and loved ones for the holiday. These Chocolate Valentine Hearts are perfect because they’re so easy to make, they’re delicious and the presentation is wonderful. I’m planning to place them in decorative cupcake wrappers inside treat boxes as gifts for co-workers this year.

Make Your Own Chocolate Hearts for Valentine's Day

You can pick your favorite kind of sprinkles, like the heart shaped confetti sprinkles used here and place them in the bottom of a silicone heart mold.

Make Your Own Chocolate Hearts for Valentine's Day

Cover the bottoms of the heart mold with sprinkles as liberally as you’d like!

Make Your Own Chocolate Hearts for Valentine's Day

Then scoop the melted white chocolate mixture into the molds over the sprinkles and allow the chocolate to set up for about 15 minutes in the freezer. Pop the chocolate hearts out of the mold and they’re ready to be enjoyed or packaged as gifts.

Make Your Own Chocolate Hearts for Valentine's Day
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Ingredients
  • ½ bag Wilton bright white candy melts
  • Wilton micro heart sprinkles
  • Pink confetti sprinkles
  • 1 Teaspoon almond extract
Instructions
  1. In a microwave safe bowl, melt your candy melts on 50% power for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds until melted
  2. Now mix in your Almond extract
  3. Place your sprinkles in the bottom of the heart molds, the more the merrier
  4. Now you can start scooping your white melted chocolate into your heart molds
  5. Spread your white chocolate around evenly inside the heart mold
  6. Set in the freezer for about 15 minutes
  7. Now that your chocolate is hard and you can pop them out and enjoy!

I highly recommend Plan to Eat for a great place to store all your favorite recipes! Check it out with a free trial and see how easy it is to add recipes from the Internet, plan meals for your family and even print out a handy grocery list.

Frugal Friday – Show Off Your Shops!

This week I bought a total of $91.57 worth of groceries for $31.75, or 65% off. I love to see the deals that other frugal shoppers come up with because it’s so inspiring and I really dig having a visual way that we can all share our deals and Show Off Our Shops! Please post a link below to any or all of the deals that you’d like to show off this week. If you don’t have a blog to link up, just leave a comment and tell us all about your deals or upload a picture to Flickr or PhotoBucket and link to that ;)

My 1/27 Publix Trip – $91.57 for $31.75 or 65% Off


Let the Good Times Roll! Mardi Gras Cookie Recipe

Mardi Gras Cookie Recipe

Laissez les bon temps roulez! Let the good times roll with these fun Mardi Gras themed cookies! Mardi Gras is a huge deal here along the Gulf Coast with lots of parades, parties and events and you can get in the spirit no matter where you are with this Mardi Gras cookie recipe.

Mardi Gras Cookie Recipe

After you mix up your cookie dough you’ll divide it into three parts and then add the food coloring. I love how vivid these colors are!

Mardi Gras Cookie Recipe

Pinch off some of each color of dough and gently press them together, roll in your hands to make a ball then place on the parchment sheet several inches apart.

Mardi Gras Cookie Recipe

Next, press a few M&Ms into the top of each dough ball.

Mardi Gras Cookie Recipe

These cookies are almost too pretty too eat but they’re delicious so I’m sure you’ll have to eat more than one! Laissez les bon temps roulez!

Let the Good Times Roll! Mardi Gras Cookie Recipe
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Cuisine: Dessert
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1.5 cups flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup yellow and green M&M's
  • Purple, green and yellow food coloring
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees
  2. Line a baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine your flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt and set aside
  4. In a large mixing bowl mix together your softened butter and sugar
  5. Add 1 egg and Vanilla to your sugar and butter mix and mix well
  6. Now you can add your flour mixture to your butter mixture and mix well
  7. Divide the dough into three parts and add 2 to 3 drops of food coloring to each then mix well to create the purple, green and yellow dough.
  8. Using a spoon, scoop out some of each color dough. Gently press the three colors together then roll into small balls
  9. Place your dough onto your parchment paper lined baking sheet
  10. Press a few M&M's onto the top of your dough balls
  11. Cook for exactly 10 minutes
  12. When you take your cookies out of the oven, gently press them down with the bottom of a cup

I highly recommend Plan to Eat for a great place to store all your favorite recipes! Check it out with a free trial and see how easy it is to add recipes from the Internet, plan meals for your family and even print out a handy grocery list.

My 1/27 Publix Trip – $91.57 for $31.75 or 65% Off

My 1/27 Publix Trip - $91.57 for $31.75 or 65% Off

Although I’m not a huge fan the kids all love corn dogs so I stocked up on those as well as the 12 packs of 7Up at just $2.50 each. Of course there are lots of great deals at Publix this week on things you’ll need for the “big game” so it’s a good time to stock up on sodas, chips, nuts and beer if any of those items are on your list often. Today I bought $91.57 worth of groceries for $31.75, or 65% off after coupons and $10/$50 Apple Market q from last Wednesday’s newspaper.  Here are the deals:

Smithfield Bacon, Assorted Varieties, 16 oz, $3.99
-$1/2 Smithfield Bacon, exp. 2/13/16 (Publix Coupon Game Day Favorites Coupon Booklet & Printables) [16-oz. to 40-oz.] (I used one of these)
-$1/2 Smithfield® Bacon
-$1/2 Smithfield Bacon Publix Coupon, 01/17 SS (exp 2/13) [16-oz. to 40-oz.]
-$1/2 Smithfield Bacon, Any Package (DND) – 12-06-15 SS (exp 2/1/2016)
-$1/1 Smithfield Bacon, Any Package (DND) – 12-06-15 SS (exp 2/1/2016)
Final Price: $3.49 each

Canada Dry, 7-UP, or A&W or Diet Rite, Assorted Varieties, 12 pk, 12 oz cans (Excluding Seltzer Water), B2G2 $9.99 or $2.50 each

State Fair Corn Dogs, 13.3 – 16 oz, BOGO $3.49 or $1.75 each

Blue Diamond Almonds, Assorted Varieties, 6 oz can, BOGO $4.19
-$0.60/2 Blue Diamond Almonds, any 6oz cans – found on product Peelie
-$0.75/2 Blue Diamond Almonds, any 6oz cans – found on product Peelie
Final Price: $2.10 each

Oh Boy! Oberto Jerky or Chicken Strips, Assorted Varieties, 2.5 to 3.25 oz, BOGO $6.49
$1/1 Oberto Jerkey 3.0-3.25 oz, exp. 2/13/16 (Publix Coupon Game Day Favorites Coupon Booklet & Printables)
Final Price: $2.25 each

Doritos Tortilla Chips or Ruffles Potato Chips, Assorted Varieties, 8.5 to 11.5 oz (Excluding Oven Baked and Simply), BOGO $4.29
-B2G1 Tostitos Tortilla Chips and/or Ruffles Potato Chips get FREE Frito Lay Brand Dip – valid up to $3.99 Tearpad (exp 4/30/2016)
Final Price: $2.15 each

New to couponing? Check out our Couponing 101 page and learn how to save a little or A LOT! Also visit our Strategic Shopping page to learn how a few small, painless changes in the way you shop can result in HUGE savings!  Find any coupon in our new coupon database, order coupons you need, and you can download the FREE coupon toolbar here.

10 Frugal Valentine’s Day Date Ideas

10 Frugal Valentine’s Day Date Ideas

Holidays like Valentine’s Day can be difficult if you’re on a budget. There’s so much pressure to spend money on your clothes, gifts, and date activities. But Valentine’s Day is supposed to be about love, not about paying a small fortune. Luckily you don’t have to spend a lot to have a nice Valentine’s Day! If you and your loved one want to have a nice Valentine’s without spending tons of money, take a look at these 10 Frugal Valentine’s Day Date Ideas!

1) Watch a Movie at Home

If you’re on a budget, going to the movies on Valentine’s Day may not be the best idea. Tickets are more and more expensive every year, even if you’re not seeing a movie in 3D. Instead of paying high ticket prices, just stream a movie from Netflix or Amazon and have a nice frugal Valentine’s Day date at home!

2) Have a Picnic

If you don’t have freezing temperatures in February, a picnic can be a lovely inexpensive way to spend Valentine’s Day! Pack a basket with both of your favorite foods and take it to a park, lake, or even just a nice part of your backyard!

3) Homemade Dinner

Nothing beats a home cooked meal! If you’re the one who usually does the cooking, then maybe your partner cooks this meal. Or you could cook together!

4) Ice Skating

Ice skating is always a fun frugal Valentine’s Day date idea! If your local temperatures are too warm for safe skating on a real lake, go to an inexpensive ice rink instead.

5) Karaoke

Karaoke is a lot of fun! If you can’t find an inexpensive karaoke bar, look into getting a karaoke game and microphone for your gaming console or PC. You could even just use an inexpensive karaoke smartphone app!

6) Go for a Walk

There’s no need to try to be fancy on your frugal Valentine’s Day. Instead, enjoy the day with something simple, like a nice walk. But don’t just take a walk in your neighborhood. Go to a nice walking trail, park, or a pretty part of town. There’s no problem with adding some window shopping to your walk!

7) Take a Class

Many couples take a class on Valentine’s Day. As a result, you can often find coupons or discounts on lots of fun classes, like dance classes and cooking classes. Pick something that interests both of you, but not something that you’ll take so seriously that it won’t be fun. If you actually learn something useful along the way, that’s just a bonus!

8) Have an At-home Spa Day

It’s always so nice to relax at the spa! It’s not so nice to have to pay high spa prices, though. Have a frugal Valentine’s Day date and have an at-home spa day. You’ll both come out of it looking great and feeling refreshed!

9) Repeat your First Date

A romantic way to spend Valentine’s Day is to repeat your first date! If your first date wasn’t exactly frugal, simplify it down to a less expensive version. The point is just to remember the start of your relationship and to enjoy each other’s company.

10) Watch the Sunset or Stargaze

It doesn’t cost anything to stare at the sky! Grab a blanket and go camp out somewhere where you can get a nice view of the sky and watch the sun set. Stay out a bit later, and you can watch the stars!

Have you ever been on a nice frugal Valentine’s Day date?

I’m Taking the #YogaPantChallenge with Depend® Active Fit

Acorn%20Disclosure

I'm Taking the #YogaPantChallenge with Depend

My ex mother-in-law had a real problem with bladder incontinence but she was too embarrassed to buy her own incontinence products so I would buy pads and briefs for her. I have no idea if she’s gotten over the embarrassment or who might be buying them for her now, but when I had a conversation about this with my mother I learned that she was having some similar incontinence issues occasionally and she was using pads only instead of briefs because she was afraid they’d give her a “diaper” appearance and people would be able to tell she was wearing them.

The doctor has told me that after having five children and a radical hysterectomy he’s quite sure I’ll have bladder incontinence issues myself and thankfully I’m fine with buying them, especially when they come in such a pretty box like these Depend® Silhouette® Active Fit briefs, but I certainly don’t want people to think I’m wearing diapers so I’m taking the #yogapantchallenge and I’d love to see if you can tell whether I’m wearing them!

I'm Taking the #YogaPantChallenge with Depend

When I stopped by Walmart to pick up a box of Depend® Silhouette® Active Fit briefs I noticed that the gentleman behind me in line was buying a bottle of libido vitamins and a couple cat scratchers and realized that none of us should be embarrassed about our purchases, but I’m dying to know what you think about my bum in these yoga pants! I’m wearing the incontinence briefs in one of the pictures above and my regular underwear in the other picture – click the picture if you’d like a larger view, and then tell me whether you think I’m wearing the Depend® briefs in the left or right picture. Leave a comment below with your answer and be sure to enter the giveaway for a chance to win one of FORTY Walmart Activewear gifts. I’ll come back and post the answer after I get a few votes!

Walmart Activewear Gift Sets