Mexican Casserole: to feed a crowd

Feed a Crowd - Mexican Casserole

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mexican Casserole

“Here’s a great budget friendly recipe that’s easy to make and feeds a crowd. I fixed it for company this past weekend and it fed plenty of us with leftovers for lunch the next day! Serve it up with a salad and some fresh bakery bread and you’ve got an easy meal your guests will love and won’t bust your budget. In fact, you can get all the ingredients for the casserole for around $10 at most grocery stores. Not bad, huh? Give it a try, I think you’re going to love it.”  ~ Karee/ Build A Menu 

Mexican Casserole to feed a crowd

Prep time:  

Cook time:  
Total time:  
Serves: 10

Mexican Casserole

A great budget friendly, crowd pleasing recipe!

Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325.
  2. In a large skillet, brown meat and drain off fat.
  3. Stir in beans, tomatoes, onion, taco seasoning, soup and water.
  4. Simmer over medium-low heat until everything is well combined and heated through.
  5. Grease a 9×13 casserole dish.
  6. Put down a layer of crushed tortilla chips, followed by a layer of the meat/bean mixture, then half of the cheddar cheese.
  7. Repeat layers.
  8. Cover with foil and bake for 20-30 min, or until bubbly. Let sit for 5-10 min before serving.

Print your own copy to try out this delicious feast of a casserole today – HERE

Big Giveaway: from Favado to encourage Family Dinners

*affiliate links present 
We take family dinners seriously, here at Molly Green. The family time,  the planning, and preparing of family meal time is not always easy to come by these days for busy families.

An attractive dinner setting

Does dinner time at your house leave you feeling frustrated? Is it too difficult to menu plan and serve a meal that everyone will enjoy while sticking to a budget. Don’t be discouraged because you are not alone.
Guest post from Inspired Bloggers Network – with Giveaway hosted, in part, by Molly Green!
Over the next two weeks, the Inspired Bloggers Network is teaming together with Favado and $5 Dinners to equip you with the tips and inspiration you need to make dinner time with the family a less stressful ordeal. You can follow all of our updates in social media with the hashtag #inspiredfamilydinners, but first, we want you to get to know our sponsors with an awesome giveaway!

Enter to win an All-Clad Cookware set and $5 Dinners Cookbook Gift Basket for Inspired Family Dinners with Favado

 
Enter to win an All-Clad Cookware Set (valued at $800) from Favado and a Cookbook Gift Basket from $5 Dinners between now and February 23rd at 11:59 PM CST.

About Favado

Favado is a mobile savings app that helps shoppers stop overspending on groceries by notifying them when their favorite items are on sale.
With Favado, users can…
  • Compare prices across multiple local grocery and drugstores.
  • Search for best prices on individual ingredients.
  • Personalize their favorite products and brands to quickly see best deals for those items each week.
  • Quickly find coupons for the products that are already on sale for “double the discount.”
  • Build a shopping list in the app, so you don’t forget anything that’s on sale!
Favado has money saving experts who hand select sales and coupons every week — in more than 65,000 grocery and drugstores nationwide — to enable discovery of the best deals for savings up to 70% on everyday items.

So, sign up for Favado and start saving.

Then, follow Favado everywhere: Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.

Win $1,000 with #FavadoLove


About $5 Dinners

Erin Chase has helped millions of families across the countries enjoy delicious and nutritious family dinners, for less! She’s put together a gift basket with a copy of each of her cookbooks:
The $5 Dinner Mom Cookbook , her The $5 Dinner Mom Breakfast and Lunch Cookbook, and her The $5 Dinner Mom One-Dish Dinners Cookbook -along with some fabulous cooking utensils!

You can find more of her great recipes at 5DollarDinners.com.

Enter to win

To enter for a chance to with the All-Clad Cookware Set (valued at $800) from Favado and a Cookbook Gift Basket from $5 Dinners, you must choose from any (or all) of the choices in the giveaway widget below. This giveaway will close on February 23rd at 11:59 PM CST. For official rules, please view below.

Follow link below to enter Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. Facebook and Pinterest are in no way connected or responsible for this giveaway and are held blameless of all legal responsibilities. Winning entry will be selected through Rafflecopter using Random.org and will be notified by email on February 24, 2014. If the winner has not responded within 48 hours, another winner will be selected. Good luck.

Build a Menu Anniversary Special

build a menu special

The Build a Menu Anniversary Special is here!

Have you “met” the ladies from Build a Menu? We have a special word from them today and we are excited to celebrate with them on their 2nd Anniversary.

Find out more about who they are and what they are all about in the guest post below:

Trying to get dinner on the table for your family and keep your grocery budget under control can be frustrating. Any busy mom can tell you menu planning can be one of the most frustrating jobs we have! Fortunately, there are services such as Build a Menu that can help you plan a menu your family will love. Build A Menu not only provides you with new recipes to choose from each week, each recipe shows the current cost to buy its ingredients at the store, making it super easy to keep a handle on your grocery budget.

BAM helping families

What makes it even better is that you can design your selections around the grocery store where you shop. Choose from different recipe categories based on your family’s individual preferences. You’re not locked in to just one menu, but rather you can mix and match any way you like!

BAM 3 easy steps

 

In three easy steps you can select the store you like to shop at, pick your recipes and print your customized shopping list. Voila! You’re done menu planning for the week!

Build a Menu has a variety of recipes to choose from for breakfast, lunch, dinner and even snacks and desserts as well. Simply select the store where you want to shop, choose the recipes you want, print out the recipes and shopping list, and you’re ready to go…including the prices for the ingredients that you will be purchasing.

How great is that!?

BAM categories

You can choose recipes from any of these categories to create a menu that’s perfect for you family:

Family Friendly
Trim Healthy Mama
Low Carb
Gluten Free
Low Fat/Sensible Portions
Allergy Friendly (No gluten, dairy, nuts)
Vegetarian
Slow Cooker
Soups On
Crowd Pleasers
Manly Meals

Not only is Build A Menu committed to helping families save time and money thru menu planning, they also donate a portion of their proceeds to orphan care charities, so when you join Build A Menu, you’ll also be joining in their effort to support these charities!
To save you even more money, use Coupon Code 12for35 and get ½ off a year membership making it only $35 for the entire year.  Hop on over and get started now!

Molly members – Get a 3 month membership for Only $15 (regularly $8) See your Membership page for special code and link.  Molly members also have exclusive access to the special downloads from BAM’s Dine on a Dime menu and shopping lists – RIGHT from your Molly Member page!

All Molly readers can get a special $4 off on your first month with coupon code SaveMeMoney – or take advantage of the SUPER 1/2 off the annual membership with Coupon Code 12for35 – Go here to get started today! 

Frugal healthy lunch ideas: works for me Wednesday

frugal healthy lunch

Frugal healthy lunch ideas from Midge

Hi all! It’s Molly’s cousin Midge here. Molly knows I’ve been working hard to find new ways to be frugal and for this new year – I’ve set some personal goals for my health as well.

Fortunately for me, my Molly Green magazine membership will allow me to have exclusive access to the Dine on a Dime menu planner from Build a Menu (coming soon) AND I get a big discount on a full membership to BAM which includes the fabulous Trim Healthy Mama recipes to help me even more.

Now, I know you may be thinking “lucky Midge – being related to Molly and all”  but, this is not just a family deal - YOU get the same benefits with a Molly Membership – see,  you can join the Molly Family too!

So now, about those frugal healthy lunches . . .

I’ve been making my very own kind of “Lean Cuisine” meals for the week.  When I do my batch cooking  or prepare evening meals – I set aside food to build the lunches with the tips as follows:

  1. Measure 1 cup of extra brown rice to add to broth. Freeze in baggies for quick access.
  2. Place portions of rice in freezer containers and add chopped veggies for a frugal, healthy homemade lean cuisine.
  3. Use broccoli stems to chop small pieces to add to rice for lunch stir-fry or to salads.
  4. Use the tops of tomatoes and bottom portion and chop for a fresh pico de gallo - to add to beans, salad, or chicken,  a Mexican rice dish or fish – for an instant burst of flavor that will light up your taste buds!  pico de gallo
  5.  Use tops and bottoms of white onions and peppers you might normally toss out for the same purpose. Chop ‘em small and throw them into sauce or soup too.
  6. Freeze washed berries and grapes individually on a tray and then divide them into portion sizes for your smoothies and health drinks.
  7. Chop bite size pieces of leftover meats – chicken, fish, steak – and freeze in portion sizes to go into your rice or healthy pasta for a protein boost at lunch.
  8. Once cooled, freeze lunch size portions of your homemade chick broth  in Mason jars or other freezer containers – add leftover rice, chicken, and veggies for a hearty hot lunch.
  9. Use frozen broth to make a homemade Egg Drop Soupfrugal healthy lunch: egg drop soup
  10. Freeze stuffed bell peppers  for a flavorful lunch – use leftover ingredients of rice and lean ground beef, turkey, or venison to fill them with.

Frugal healthy lunches can be yours with just a little bit of prep and planning ahead of time.

Don’t wait to get your Molly Membership so you can take advantage of the big discount for Build a Menu and have the Trim Healthy Mama recipes at your finger tips – or just use the Molly Membership to enjoy the ever frugal Dine on a Dime menu planner!

Go here to get your first month for only $1 and only $7.95 ever after. 

linking with Works for Me Wed

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Easy Allergy-Friendly Lunches~ Works For Me

Last month I shared my trick for fast-fix salads at home. Today I thought I’d share about how I prep quick-grab lunches for my husband. This time of year he’s working harvest, which means 13 hour days. And since he’s gluten-free, he can’t just grab a sandwich and go. Therefore, I’ve been spending Sunday afternoons prepping a week’s worth of lunches that he can grab. That way I don’t have to worry about it again and he has a healthy lunch ready to go.

Last week was just a partial week of harvest and I fixed him some salads with two kinds of beans, marinated grilled chicken and cheese. I actually had two boxes of Ziploc bowls that I’d gotten free on a promo and never used. The salads worked perfectly in them. I prepped the salads, boiled up a bunch of hard boiled eggs and filled sandwich bags with some mini carrots, string cheese and almonds. I also made up some brown rice with lentils and peas and put them in bowls as well (not pictured.) I put some dressing in tiny cups and put some yogurt nearby. Now hubby has all his lunch items on one shelf and can easily grab what he wants.

This week I made a TON of potato salad. I filled six bowls with it for hubs and kept a tub for us to eat as well. I made my version of Southwest chicken salad. I used a package of the cubed chicken I’d prepped from my Zaycon foods purchase, mixed it with black beans and corn and dumped in some taco seasoning. Then I topped them with cheese.

I then cooked up a bunch of rice and added the rest of the chicken/corn/bean mixture to that to make a “rice bowl” type dish. I had some extra taco sauce packets from Taco Bell in my odds & ends drawer so I stuck a couple right on top of each bowl.

Another week down! Here’s a pic of things “in process”.

Here’s a shot of the rice bowl. You can put pretty much any kind of meat & veggies in these and have them come out well.

I took another shot of the fridge this week to show how I label dishes with my pink hair tape labels. I like these because they’re cheap, easy to write on, and peel right off. I decided I’d better label them after hubs took two of the same dish for lunch last week. I thought they were see-through enough (or that one could lift the lid and look?!), but I guess not. ;-)

Oh! And if you look at the cost of a pre-made salad bowl you’ll find that they’re right at $3!! And rice bowls are about the same, I believe. CRAZY! it’s definitely worth the time to make your own. Same with potato salad. It’s very inexpensive to make, but costs a fortune to buy pre-made.

What about you? Do you have any easy lunch tricks or tricks for dealing with allergies or intolerances?

Linking up to Tackle it Tuesday and Works for Me Wednesday.

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Guest Post — Cash is Hiding in Your Home!

Cash Is Hiding In Your Home - www.Econobusters.com

© Les Cunliffe | Dreamstime.com

Cash is hiding in your home, and we don’t mean the couch cushions

You calculate and budget for your mortgage and monthly utility bills, but the unexpected expenses really begin to add up! You can coupon clip and check couch cushions for quarters, but true moneymakers in your home might just be hiding right in front of you.

So if you’re packing your lunch, making your own coffee, and using home remedy cleansers instead of the expensive products at the grocery store, but still feel like your home is costing you more than you would like, check out our tips to see where cash is likely hiding in your home.

Here are some easy ways to save money in your home that may not have crossed your mind:

Sell your cell

If you’re looking to upgrade your phone, tablet, iPod, etc., but don’t have the cash, look into trading in your old ones! Businesses such as NextWorth make it easier to upgrade to the latest gadgets by offering top dollar for used electronics, regardless of their condition. To get a quote on your outdated gadgets, visit www.nextworth.com. Not only are you saving money by recycling your old products, but you’re saving the environment too!

Toasting your dollars

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, anywhere from 5-10 percent of residential electricity is used by devices that are plugged in 24 hours a day. Even when your appliances and electronics are turned off, they’re still using energy, costing you money in the long run! By simply unplugging the household appliances you aren’t using, you can save money! Start by unplugging these energy-wasters: toasters, lamps, coffeemakers, DVD players, stereos and radios, televisions and desktop/laptop computers.

Dimes in the dryer

While rummaging through the dryer for loose change might earn you a quick 50 cents, there is now an even simpler way to save money when using your large appliances and electronics. Enervee, an energy-smart scoring platform, ranks products based on their energy efficiency. By learning the “Enervee Score” for each large appliance in your home, you can see exactly which product(s) is sucking the most electricity, and therefore money out of your home each month. In some cases, it may be more cost-efficient in the long run to buy a new, energy-efficient product than continue to use your current model. Enervee can help you make those buying decisions and save some serious cash.

Filter for savings

A dirty air filter in your car can cost you up to 7 percent of your gas mileage! By taking five minutes to clean your filter at home, you’re increasing your car’s overall fuel efficiency. Don’t know how to clean your car’s filter? Follow these easy steps and save money on your car! It is recommended to do this every 5,000 miles to keep your car’s fuel efficiency at an all-time high.

Eliminate bills to get bills

Cell phone companies are notorious for charging you fees that you had no idea existed. Take the time to go through your next cell phone bill, and look for any services you don’t use or charges you don’t understand. By calling your service provider you can often easily drop these fees, saving you more money monthly! And if you decide to change phone carriers, consider a no-contract, pre-paid plan such as Solavei, which has no hidden fees and costs just $49 per month for unlimited text, talk and data.

Ways of the web

Take advantage of this crazy thing we call the Internet. Downgrade to basic cable (or none)—you can watch all of your shows for free on the web! Simplify your life and bills by using the Internet for all its worth.

Now that you’ve saved all this money at home, don’t go spend it all at once! You will only reap the benefits of these tips by becoming more disciplined in your saving and finances. Stay up-to-date with the trends of the economy, keep a do-it-yourself mindset and always think twice about your purchases!

 

Freebie! Easy Probiotic Recipes (Easy Recipe) [Kindle Edition]

MGM_Molly's Pick of the Day_freebie_graphic (1)

 

Easy Probiotic Recipes (Easy Recipe) [Kindle Edition]

In Easy Probiotic Recipes, you will find 100+ probiotic recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner. You are sure to find some new favorites that are enjoyable and beneficial – both for your body and for your senses. To make it easy for you, we decided to separate the recipes by main ingredient to highlight what you like and filter out what you don’t. All of the links in the Table of Contents are clickable, so you can get to where you want to go in a flash.

CLICK HERE FOR THE FREEBIE!

*As always, Kindle freebies are free at the time of posting. Be sure to check the price before purchasing.*

Brontosaurus Bento

Midge copy Guest Blog by: Midge

In my recent check-ins on Pinterest and throughout the Internet, I keep running into the term “Bento”. And the term has confounded me. What in the world is a bento and would using a bento really benefit my family?

I found this great link ~ CLICK HERE which helped explain the term bento.  According to this article, ["Bento" originates from the Southern Song Dynasty slang term 便當 (pinyin: biàndāng), meaning "convenient" or "convenience."] It can be traced back through history possibly as early as 1185 AD. So, a Bento would basically be a convenient lunch box.

Personally, bento boxes remind me of a “Lunchable” with a bit more pizzazz! They certainly are a clever way to dress up your child’s or husband’s lunch and hopefully bring a smile to their face. I have seen a baby harp seal themed bento with the seals shaped out of sticky rice, a Perry the Platypus sandwich bento, a pretend kid’s sushi bento, and many more. The point of the bento is to create a clever design with your food or shape the food into animals, characters, or something fun. The sky is the limit when it comes to creating these “convenient” lunch bentos!

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Midge’s Definition of “bento”:  A small plastic container with a lid containing a cute assortment of cleverly designed food products with the main purpose of sharing a bit of love and happiness with the recipient while they eat lunch or a snack.

So, I started to think about this concept. Would this help my “picky eater”? How creative could I get with a Bento yet still stick to a frugal budget?

First, I had to chose a bento box but I did not buy a box specifically called bento, or just for use as a bento. I ended up picking a plastic container with a lid for about $6 at the local “mart of many discounts”. I also discovered I already had a great separated tray Tupperware container in my cupboard with a lid so it is now also labeled “For Bento Use”.  Click here for some more TIPS ON CHOOSING THE RIGHT CONTAINER FOR YOUR BENTO BOX

I made three different boxes in order to test my bento box theory.

#1 Brontosaurus Bento:

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One Word ~ Awesome! This was the first bento design I tried and it worked! It solved the picky eating issue! I merely used a Brontosaurus sandwich design cutter and cut the PB & J sandwich into two pieces. I did not get too creative with the decorations but I merely tried to do something cute then added loads of grapes and carrots. The end result  was that my picky eater ate everything except the four pieces of cucumber I tried to put in for the look of grass ~ lol. (This sweet child also liked the fact that Momma made the dinosaurs talk!)

#2 Bento with a Heart (see 1st picture)

Well, this bento was definitely more of a miss than a hit. I ended up eating it for a snack myself because the wee one just wasn’t too hungry during our recent road trip. But, on the upside, I am now thinking I need to pack my own bento for road trips! It was healthy, delicious, and frugal. It deterred my need to stop off for a quick snack at the gas station. Bonus!

#3 Chocolate Covered Bento

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Oh yes, of course, I had to try making one for my husband. I made him a snack bento which actually ended up being a before dinner chocolate appetizer by the time it was completed. I dipped strawberries in melted chocolate and then also did the same with crisp bacon. Mmm . . . yup, say it again . . . chocolate covered bacon. This is a “must try” kind of food item for those of you who may be questioning my taste buds’ logic. Super Yum!

I suppose in retrospect, any time you can pack your own snacks and lunch you will end up saving yourself money. And my wee one definitely loved even the small things I did to make the bento more personable. You don’t need to invest a lot of money but a little bit of time and creativity is required in order to dream up your next bento box theme. And for me, just seeing my little one smile at the small Brontosaurus heads peeking out of the bento was enough motivation to try again!!!

And next time, I may just add a Mento to my bento . . . seriously, couldn’t resist adding this sentence in.  lol :)

Oh and look... it's is almost ALL GONE!  Score one for the Bento!

Oh and look… my picky eater’s lunch is almost ALL GONE! Score one for the Bento!

 What is your favorite way to serve lunch to your kids or husband at home or in a lunch box? Have you tried a themed lunch bento? Weigh in with your opinion ~ Is a bento a great frugal choice?