food stamps challenge – week 2

So it’s week 2 of my own personal food stamps challenge!  I sat down on Sunday, poring over my cookbooks and Pinterest picks to find some relatively frugal recipes that take advantage of what’s on sale (at Kroger) and what I already have on hand in the pantry/fridge.  091613hambcass

After creating my list, The Greek and I ventured forth and worked the store like champions.

We spent about as much on dinners this week as last (<$45), and I’m pretty excited about the savings…. I even had enough to buy a few “stock up” items that were on sale and too good to pass up.  Altogether, we spent $62.14 for everything, including a half gallon of ice cream.

Can I get an “Amen!”?

Rather than posting each recipe the day after I make it, I’m trying something new this week.  I’ve created links to my Shopping List – week 2 and also the recipes (below) for those of you who want to play along.

The menu this week consists of two recipes from The Best Casserole Cookbook Ever (found here), Meal-in-One-Dish Hamburger Casserole and Beef Nacho Casserole.

Another two recipes were taken from the Happy Money Saver blog – Honey Lime Chicken with rice and Chicken Enchiladas with lettuce, sour cream, black beans and jalapenos.

I decided we would go vegetarian one day this week with a Southwestern Chopped Salad with cilantro dressing.  This is the only recipe I’ve actually made before… I’ll be as surprised as anyone about how the other recipes come out!

Three of the recipes this week have a Southwestern/Mexican bent, which we love, so keep in mind that there’s a lot of cheese and sour cream flying around this week… not the healthiest, but sometimes you just have to just have fun.

I try to order my recipes so that we’re having the one I think we’ll like the least on Monday (since that’s the worst day of the week anyway) and end with the strongest on Friday (so we’re going into the weekend on a high note).

We had the Meal-in-One-Dish Hamburger Casserole last night and, sure enough, both of us rated this at a 5 or 6 out of 10.  (That piece of art up above is a side view of the casserole – I was trying to capture all of the layers, because casseroles don’t look all that appetizing plopped onto a plate.  I failed miserably but sorta liked the blurry glass steam action going on).  It was easy enough to make, although not as simple as the 4-ingredient recipes we tried last week.

091613 ingred

This casserole is similar to shepherd’s pie, but I’d eliminate the green pepper next time (neither of us are fond of cooked peppers, so I’m not sure what insanity led me to follow those instructions), cut the amount of onion and peas in half and double the amount of cheese.

Cheese can hide a multitude of sins.  God bless cheese.


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