Real Food Groceries I Often Order from Amazon

I’m writing a small series of posts to share what groceries I purchase from each of my favorite stores – either online, co-op, or from brick and mortar grocery stores. Last week I shared about the groceries I buy from Aldi. Today I’ll tell you about the real food groceries I often order from Amazon!

Real Food Groceries I Buy From Amazon

Amazon is one of my favorite online stores for finding good deals on bulk groceries! I especially like to take advantage of Subscribe & Save deals paired with coupons. That’s where the real savings happens!

You can read more here about how I get the best deals at Amazon with Subscribe& Save. Also, you can bookmark our Amazon Deals page which we update regularly with all of the real food grocery deals we find at Amazon!

amazon october 2

The grocery items I buy from Amazon fluctuate depending on the prices and our family’s needs. But here are the foods I often check at Amazon first when looking for grocery deals online:

Real Food Groceries I Often Buy From Amazon

amazon order june 2

  • Izze – This is a special treat at our house, and one that I only buy when there is an Amazon Coupon that I can use with Subscribe & Save. I try to only buy them when an individual Izze breaks down to $0.50 or less.
  • Delallo Whole Wheat Pasta – This is our favorite brand of organic, whole wheat pasta and I buy them by the case with Subscribe & Save. There are many varieties of shapes, though for some reason this one is our favorite! I always get their spaghetti noodles, lasagna noodles, and elbows too!

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Awww, here’s Malachi a few years ago hanging out on the porch with our big Subscribe & Save order!

  • Bearitos Organic Tortilla Chips – We love the texture and taste of these! They go on sale often so I get them when they are less than $3.00/bag.
  • Individual Nut Pouches – Often Planters offers a coupon I can pair with Subscribe & Save, so I get them to use as snacks when we’re on the road for soccer and basketball.
  • Muir Glen Products – I watch for coupons to pair with Subscribe & Save on these tomato products, specifically their ketchup and pizza sauce.
  • Stubbs BBQ Sauce – I recently discovered that this brand includes all real food ingredients and Amazon carries it for a good price (usually!).

Again, sometimes I buy other food items when I come across a good deal and need it for our family!

Do you buy groceries from Amazon? What items do you often buy?

Some of these links are my affiliate links.

Simple Mixes that Save the Day (Gorgeous New FREE Recipe eBook for Simple Meals Members!)

I’m ridiculously excited about the Simple Mixes book I get to share with you! It’s gorgeous and there are fudge brownies involved. So if you value beauty and chocolate, you will be just as excited as I. Oh, but there’s more!

If there’s anything at all that I can do to make my real food kitchen life simpler, you know I try to do it. That’s how Simple Meals was born – it was part of my effort to cut down on time spent in the kitchen while still putting great and healthy meals on the table.

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Yes, I love to cook. But I love looking at my family’s faces more. I love being the loudest cheerleader at all their events. I love having meaningful conversations with my husband. I love spending time in the Word. I love writing and keeping in touch with all of you. I love keeping life simple so I can keep my priorities my priorities.

Every time I learn a new simple trick or figure out a new simple recipe, I share it with you so that you, too, can simplify your kitchen life. Every week we send out a detailed Simple Meals menu plan with a bonus grocery list, tips, additional recipes, and suggestions for keeping your week as simple as possible. We give you this for a mere $1.00 per week, because that makes us happy. :)

And sometimes, we come up with even more ways to simplify your life, so we put them into an eBook, and we give them to Simple Meals members for FREE! Now introducing…

The biggest reason this little eBook makes me excited is because following its recipes have filled my freezer and pantry with all sorts of goodie mixes that save me even more time! I’ve got beautiful containers filled now with lovely mixes, so if…

  • I want to make pancakes for my family? I simply get out the my homemade pancake and waffle mix.
  • I’m making cornbread? I get out the cornbread mix.
  • Extra teens are coming over? I get out my brownie mix!
  • I decide at the last minute to make a cake? Oh, there’s a mix for that.

Simple Mixes that Save the Day

Here’s just a tiny sample of what I have on hand now, thanks to this Simple Mixes book. Muffin Mix, Pancake/Waffle Mix, Brownie Mix, and Stir-and-Pour Bread Mix:

simple mixes

This little book packs a big punch, and it’s free this week for all Simple Meals subscribers!! Take a look at the inside page:

simple mixes intro page

Our Simple Meals plans are sent out to members every Thursday morning so you have plenty of time to prepare for the upcoming week. So current members! Watch for this fun new Simple Mixes eBook to hit your inbox next Thursday too!

Not a Simple Meals member? Please join us! The price is right, and the money and time you’ll save in the kitchen will be such a blessing to you! If you join Simple Meals before next Thursday, you’ll gain access to this brand new Simple Mixes book too!!

Real all about Simple Meals here.

Simple Meals
Your yearly subscription equips you with a 52 week's worth of meal plans, grocery guide, recipes, and bonus tips, plus you get over $60 worth of bonus eBooks! Your Simple Meals plan will arrive in your inbox each Thursday morning.
Price: $52.00

Next week I’ll share more about the fun I’ve been having with my Simple Mixes. Because where there are mixes, the mama will bake, and everyone at her house is happy.

Just want the Simple Mixes to Save the Day eBook? Get it here —>

Simple Mixes that Save the Day
Get our 7 amazing whole grain, low sugar mix recipe - from brownies to breads! Use them to make 22 varieties of delicious, simple baked goods for your family and guests!
Price: $7.95

The Heavenly Homemakers YouTube Channel, Back in Action!

I’ve had a Heavenly Homemakers YouTube Channel, and I’ve been afraid to use it.

hhm youtube videos

Actually, I haven’t been afraid as much as I’ve been overwhelmed with the when and the how and the are you even kidding me? So many people have encouraged me to do more with video through the years. My sons are super into videography, we have a houseful of video equipment and editing software, and I have many fun video ideas. But I also have a very full plate, and so many other excuses that may or may not include the fact that I rarely actually fix my hair so why would I want to put that mess onto video for all the world to see?

Wow, Laura, Wow.

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In summary, I’ve loved and hated the video idea for a good many years. Loved how much fun it could be, hated trying to figure out how to actually fit the work it would take into my days. So the video thing never happened, even though it’s been a great idea.

But this summer, my youngest, Malachi (age 12), started creating a couple of YouTube Channels for himself. (Your kids might have fun following him. Check out Th3 Builder Guys here!) He has been having a ridiculous amount of fun doing it, he’s been learning lots, and a few weeks ago he said, “Mom, you should have a YouTube Channel!” I had to then admit to him, “Umm, I actually already have one that I haven’t done anything with for a very long time.”

Happy news! Malachi used his expertise and redid my YouTube page! Together we’ve been brainstorming how to make it super fun for all of you!

hhm youtube channel page

It begs the question at this point: Who is more excited? Malachi or me? This is yet to be determined.

He’s doing all the filming and editing, which means this YouTube thing can and will actually happen! (If left up to me, I would never find the time to learn all I need to know about editing and uploading. Plus, it’s oh so very helpful to have a fun camera guy on the scene.)

Here’s the little welcome video we created:

Then a couple days later, we made this one, which threw me over the edge to decide that making videos for YouTube is really, really fun!

(To clear up any confusion you might have while watching this video: We went to two soccer games two days in a row out of town. The two trips are intermixed with one another in this video, in case you are like, “Wait. Hair up, hair down. Short sleeved shirt, sleeveless shirt. What is happening right now?”)

We would love it if you followed along with the fun we’re having! We’ll keep our videos short and sweet. We’ll give you a glimpse into the life of the Heavenly Homemaker Household. I’ll share fun and helpful tips as you watch me cooking or shopping or unloading groceries. And you can be sure of this:

I will rarely be wearing makeup. Sometimes I won’t even put in my contacts. Occasionally my clothes won’t match. I won’t clean my kitchen before we start recording footage of me making tomato sauce.

You’ll get to see real life, with all the messes, and rest assured that the messes are many.

Will you join us? It’s going to be so much fun!!

Subscribe to our Heavenly Homemakers YouTube Channel Here!

Food I Keep in My Fridge and Freezer to Make the School Year Easier

Simple as some of the items on the following lists are, I thought it was worth sharing the basic food I keep in my fridge and freezer to make the school year easier.

Food I Keep in my Fridge and Freezer to Make Meals During the School Year Easier

Some of these require work (as in, I actually have to mix something or cook something). But many of these only require that I purchase them and sock them away to use as needed. Either way, having these foods ready to grab at all times (if possible!) means I can relax more when feeding my family during busy school days.

If you haven’t already downloaded our free Master Lunch, Breakfast, and Snack Ideas and Recipes Lists, go grab those here. Those lists are helping keep my planning to a minimum!

Master List of 100 Simple Snack Ideas

And now, the big list of food I like to keep on hand to make many of those lunches, breakfasts, and snacks!

Food/Ingredients I Keep in my Freezer

Freshly Ground Flour

Here you’ll find all the posts I’ve ever written about grinding grain in a mill. I’ve been grinding all of our flour for almost 12 years now! It’s easy, saves money, and doing this makes our baked goods taste so much better. It’s also great for our health!

If possible, I try to keep a bucket of ground Hard White Wheat (for yeast recipes) and a bucket of Soft White Wheat (for non-yeast muffins and pastries) in my freezer so I can grab it out and bake as needed!

Pastry Flour 3

Pizza Crust

I’ve recently mentioned that I’ve been buying some premade crusts from Azure Standard to keep in the freezer for quick pizza meals. My Homemade Pizza Crust is also freezable. And if you want, you can even make your own Frozen Pizza!

Make Your Own Frozen Pizza

Frozen Cookie Dough 

My boys would say that having cookie dough in the freezer is a necessity for a happy school year. I say this is great to have on hand when people come over last minute so we can bake cookies without making a big mess. Sometimes we mix up cookie dough, roll it into a tube with parchment paper and freeze it until we need it. More often, we scoop the dough onto a baking sheet and freeze the dough balls to make very quick cookies!

How to Make Refrigerator Cookie Dough

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Breakfast Cookie Dough Balls

Along the same lines as the cookies I just mentioned, having these Giant Breakfast Cookie Balls in the freezer ready to pull out and bake in the morning is a huge time saver! I used to bake a double batch and freeze them as a ready-to-eat breakfast. But we’ve since learned that it’s fun to pull out a few frozen dough balls and bake them fresh as needed. It doesn’t get much better than a fresh-from-the-oven Breakfast Cookie with coffee in the morning!

Breakfast Cookies for the Freezer

Cooked Bacon

Pre-cooking bacon to store in the freezer has been awesome! I pull out a few slices to cook for each person a couple times a week, and I can have it on the table in about thirty seconds. I love this time-saving method!

how-to-cook-bacon-in-the-oven-and-freeze-it-for-quick-reheating

Hashbrowns

If I have time, the boys and I make hashbrowns to keep in the freezer. This task hasn’t been making it onto our to-do list lately though, so I was glad to find the Mr. Dell’s brand of frozen hashbrowns at our local Walmart, which contains one ingredient: Potatoes. I love having these in the freezer so I can throw together Egg and Cheese Hashbrown Waffles, Bacon Ranch Hashbrown Casserole, and Simple Hashbrown Casserole. Oh yeah. And hashbrowns. :)

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Ground Beef

I feel like as long as we have hamburger meat in the freezer, we will never go hungry. There are so many meals a person can make with ground beef! And now that I’ve learned how to cook frozen hamburger in bulk in my Instant Pot, life just got even easier! :)

instant pot hamburger8

Boneless Chicken Thighs

Almost as versatile as hamburger meat is boneless chicken pieces! I have learned to love boneless thighs much more than boneless breasts, and as it turns out, thighs always cost less per pound! I watch for the natural brand at my store to be marked down, buy all I can, and throw them into my freezer to use in all our Simple Recipes!

ranch chicken salad1

Homemade Poptarts

No one will starve if we don’t have poptarts in our freezer, but these sure do make a fantastic and fun breakfast. My favorite way to make these is to put together a double batch but leave them unbaked in the freezer. Then I pull them out and bake just a few at a time so we can eat them hot. They are the best! I made a bunch of these before school started this year, and they’ve made mornings just a little bit simpler. :)

homemade-poptarts-for-the-freezer

Muffin Batter

This little tip is fantastic to fill your mornings with freshly baked muffins without having to get out a mixing bowl. I love having several different kinds of muffin batter in my freezer, pulling out a few of each, and baking up an assortment without going to any trouble!

Freeze Your Muffin Batter 3

Frozen Veggies

I have big bag of frozen peas and frozen green beans in my freezer at all times. This way, even if I haven’t made it to the store to restock our fresh veggies, we always have something green to serve with our meals. These steam up quickly, and I always add a good fat to them, which makes them healthier and tastier!

grilled chicken3

Frozen Fruit

If I have peaches, strawberries, blueberries, and/or pineapple in the freezer, I can make smoothies, slushies, or fruit cobblers very quickly. Typically I stock up on these during the summer because they are less expensive when then are in season. I don’t always buy them pre-frozen. I often buy them fresh and freeze them myself if they are a better price this way!

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Butter

But, of course. For all of the delicious, buttery reasons, I keep butter in my freezer at all times. Beef and butter, beef and butter…

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Food I Keep in my Fridge

Shredded Cheese

I buy 4-pound chunks of Colby jack cheese, and sometimes mozzarella too. I have my boys shred it by running it through our food processor, which makes the job super fast! We store the shredded cheese in pyrex bowls with lids in our fridge and pull it out to use in any casserole, quesadilla, taco, scrambled egg, or anything else which calls for shredded cheese. This is, for sure, a refrigerator staple.

grating cheese2

grating cheese3

Mixed Greens

I buy a one-pound tub of these mixed greens every week so we can always have salads without any effort! Bonus: At our local Walmart, the organic greens are less expensive than the conventional!

mixed greens

Peanut Butter

I buy 5-pound bags of peanuts from Azure Standard every month and make the entire bag into about 6 pint-sized jars of peanut butter. I figure I might as well make one mess to produce 6 jars of peanut butter to have on hand, instead of making only one or two jars at a time every single week. We go through all 6 jars in a month. This homemade peanut butter is super delicious!

Super Creamy Peanut Butter

Cookie Bites

Having these No-Bake Cookie Bites, in one form or the other, in the fridge is great when any of us need a quick snack with protein and fiber. These are super low in sugar and naturally grain free. Yum, they taste good!

No-Bake Cookie Bites - Easy Recipes!

Fat Bombs

Just like the Cookie Bites, these Fat Bombs provide us with energy from good protein and fat. My husband and I like the Stevia Sweetened Fat Bombs. Our kids prefer the Honey Sweetened Fat Bombs.

fat-bombs-easy-and-delicious

Ranch Dressing

I always have a quart of Homemade Ranch Dressing in the fridge. It’s is our favorite dressing, it is easy to make, and we eat salads almost every day!

Ranch Dressing and Dip Mix

Cold Water for Javita Drinks

We almost always drink Javita coffee and tea hot, but for all of the others, I like to keep a jar of water in the fridge so that at any time, we can mix up whichever drink we need. The boys make a Rush drink for themselves before a workout. Matt drinks Flex before a hard day’s work to help with shoulder pain. All the boys and I drink Defend for an immune system boost. I drink Fiber every day to help with digestion, and surprisingly, it has helped keep me from needing to eat so often!

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Eggs

I cringe a little if we start getting low on eggs! We go through several dozen each week when we scramble or fry them for breakfast, and when we are baking. Of course, now that I have an Instant Pot, I’ve been boiling them quickly too.

eggs

Butter

Oh wait. Did I already mention butter in the freezer section of this post? Well, can I help it that I always have a nice supply in both my freezer and my fridge? This ingredient is very necessary. Very. :)

butter

What are your fridge and freezer staples?

Simple Lasagna Casserole (Instructions for Instant Pot or Crock Pot!)

This Simple Lasagna Casserole makes it possible for me to offer this proclamation: If life gets any easier, we will all have to find new hobbies. 

lasagna casserole1

Just kidding. No doubt we all have plenty to fill our days. It’s just that all these Simple Meals take so little time and energy to prepare, we are all shocking ourselves with how quickly we can put a delicious, real food meal on the table!

Prep time for this Simple Lasagna Casserole recipe takes a tiny 5 minutes. Cook time in the Instant Pot takes another 5 minutes. Good grief, I barely have time to get out salad fixings, plates, and forks before my Instant Pot beeps to tell me that dinner is ready.

On the other hand, sometimes it’s nice to start dinner ahead of time, leave, and come back to it a few hours later. That’s where the Crock Pot comes in. I can start this casserole cooking in my crock pot (which also takes only 5 minutes of effort), walk away, do a load of laundry, answer a dozen emails, leave the house, scream for my boys at a soccer game, and come home to a ready-made dinner.

lasagna casserole2

NOTE: One of the tricks to making this meal so fast and easy to put together is having Cooked Hamburger Meat already prepared and ready to stir into this dish. If you have an Instant Pot, I highly recommend cooking it this way to get ahead on your hamburger. If you don’t have an Instant Pot, I still recommend cooking hamburger meat ahead of time on the stove-top, then freezing it in meal size portions to make dinner prep easier!

Cook Time Options for Simple Lasagna Casserole

Instant Pot: 5 minutes
Crock Pot: 3-4 hours

Simple Lasagna Casserole (Instructions for Instant Pot and Crock Pot!)
 
Author:
Serves: 6-8
Ingredients
  • 16-ounces UNCOOKED whole grain pasta, any shape
  • 1 pound cooked hamburger meat
  • 50-ounces spaghetti sauce
  • 1 cup water
  • 16-ounces cottage cheese
  • Sea salt to taste
  • 2 cups shredded cheese (your favorite)
Instructions
  1. Stir uncooked pasta, spaghetti sauce, water, cooked meat, sea salt, and cottage cheese in a crock pot or instant pot. Cook as follows:
  2. Crock Pot: Cook on low for 3-4 hours.
  3. Instant Pot: Cook on Manual at high pressure for 5 minutes.
  4. Once time is up for either Crock Pot or Instant Pot, stir mixture and top with cheese, covering dish so the cheese will melt.
  5. Serve!

Simple Lasagna Casserole for Instant Pot or Crock Pot

More Simple Recipes

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Join Simple Meals

Make life even simpler when you sign up to receive our weekly Menu Planning Packets. One tiny price, loads of weekly help. Read about this and sign up here!

Some of the links in this post are my affiliate links.

It’s Not Too Late! Join our 30-Day Real Food Money Saving Challenge!

It’s time for the 30-Day Real Food Money Saving Challenge! It’s FREE. It’s fun. It’ll save you money. It’ll encourage you to eat right. (And by eat right, I mean spread butter on your bread and pour sweet cream on your peaches. This is the good kind of eatin’!)

We’ve got a whole slew of participants, but we still need more! For everyone who is interested in eating real food and saving money too, this is for you!

Take the 30 Day Challenge

Throughout the month of September, I’ll send out quick and easy real food money saving tips to everyone who signs up to take part in the fun. Should you choose to accept each challenge, you’ll be on your way to filling your table with simple real foods while keeping extra money in your wallet.

This 30-Day Challenge is FREE!

Yep. There’s no cost to join. The tips are fun and practical no matter where you live and what your grocery store options are!

This isn’t about couponing. This is simply about making the most of your grocery dollars while putting great, real food on the table.

Ready to join?!

All you have to do is:

Sign up to take the 30-Day Real~Food~Money~Saving Challenge here.


Throughout the month of September, I’ll send out quick and easy real food money saving tips. Should you choose to accept each challenge, you’ll be on your way to filling your table with simple real foods while keeping extra money in your wallet.

Let the 30-Day Real Food Money Saving Challenge begin!

Join here. 

Real Food Groceries I Buy at Aldi

I am often asked what groceries I buy and where I buy them. Obviously we do not all have the same grocery store options because we all live on different parts of the globe! (And how fun is it that we all connect here in one community!)

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I decided to write a small series of posts to share what groceries I purchase from each of my favorite stores – either online, co-op, or from an brick and mortar grocery store where I actually have to wear clothes and shoes to do my shopping. Not that I shop online without clothes on. I think that might have come out wrong. Well, anyway…

First stop: Aldi

Real Food Groceries I Buy at Aldi

We live just over an hour away from the nearest Aldi. It doesn’t make sense for me to drive there often, even though I love many of the groceries they offer! I make it there only once every three months now, and as you can imagine, I stock up on my favorites while I’m there!

groceries feb 172

I’ve definitely found that not all of the food Aldi offers is of the highest quality. But they do carry many real food items that I trust, so I skip their processed junk food aisles and grab their good food options for great prices!

Real Food Groceries I Buy At Aldi

  • Simply Nature Organic Salsa – We go through loads of salsa at our house!
  • Rotel Diced Tomatoes and Green Chilies (knock off) – So I can always and forever make this Real Food “Velveeta” and Rotel Dip. :)
  • Simply Nature Organic Black Beans
  • Simply Nature Pasta Sauce
  • 100% Grass Fed Beef – We buy a half-cow every year from local farming friends. But we go through a lot of ground beef at our house so I buy hamburger at Aldi whenever I’m there. It costs about $5.65 per pound which is a great price for the quality!
  • Cream Cheese – They carry this for the best price I’ve seen consistently (only $0.79 each!!), but unfortunately they don’t always have it in stock!
  • Butter – Usually this is priced at $2.50 or less per pound, which is much cheaper than my local options.
  • Brown Sugar – I keep brown sugar on hand at home for baking (since it’s cheaper than sucanat and as far as our bodies are concerned, sugar is sugar!). Aldi almost always has the lowest price.

Real Food Groceries I Buy at Aldi…sometimes

  • Produce – Often the Aldi closest to me doesn’t have great quality produce. They have great prices on produce, though, so usually I use their prices to price-match at my local Wal-mart.
  • 100% Whole Wheat Bread – It’s not full of the greatest ingredients, but I do like having a few loaves stashed in my freezer for busy travel days.
  • 100% Fruit Pouches – My boys like their fruit squeeze pouches, which tend to be a little bit less expensive at Aldi most of the time. Sometimes I’ll grab a few boxes while I’m there so we can take them to soccer or basketball games.
  • Sliced Cheese – I often check the quality and price on Colby jack and pepper jack slices if we need them for sandwiches on the road or grilled cheese at home.
  • Lunch Meat or Hot Dogs – Sometimes they have a “Never Any” brand or a nitrite-free hotdog that I’ll take advantage of while I’m there. I’m not a huge fan of these as the quality is still kind of so-so, but if we need them and I want to avoid an additional trip to another store on my way home, I get these.
  • A special treat to take home to the kids – Sometimes I’ll grab a pouch of granola or something else that I know my boys will like. I’ve discovered that my kids are not too old to become excited when Mom gets home from the store!

Real Food Groceries I Buy at Aldi

Do you shop at Aldi? What groceries do you frequently buy there?

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Psst!

Lilla Rose is having a wonderful Fall Sale, this FridaySunday! 40% off retiring styles, and 10-20% off select styles! Check out the gorgeous leaf-themed Flexi, U-Pins, bobbies, and hair sticks for September, “Maple!”
This sale can also be combined with the monthly special of a free large shaped U-Pin with any $50 purchase! Sale starts Friday, Sept. 1 at 7 AM Pacific time, and ends at midnightSunday, Sept. 3.
Sept Sale 2017

Take the 30 Day Real Food Money Saving Challenge!

Guess what we’re going to do together in September? We’re going to eat sweet, crisp apples and save money. We’re going to sprinkle cinnamon on everything and save money. We’re going to take a leap into the fall season together, and take on simple real food challenges that will help us all save some grocery cash!

Who’s with me?

Take the 30 Day Challenge

It’s simple, actually. Would you expect anything less? 

All you have to do is:

Sign up to take the 30-Day Real~Food~Money~Saving Challenge here.


Throughout the month of September, I’ll send out quick and easy real food money saving tips. Should you choose to accept each challenge, you’ll be on your way to filling your table with simple real foods while keeping extra money in your wallet.

It’s a win-win!

Take the 30 Day Real Food Money Saving Challenge

As we settle into a new school year, I can’t think of a better time to focus on eating real food and saving money.

We’ll share some of the most basic, family friendly ways to save grocery money. And we’ll take the fear out of switching to a real food diet. Not only that, we’ll find out why eating real food actually tastes incredible and hmmm…is it possible that we can do all of this without increasing our grocery budget?

As a mom of four teenage sons who has made the switch from processed to whole foods, I can attest to the fact that eating real food has saved us grocery money. Tip #9 will actually share one simple way we save $1,000 every year by eating real food. True story!

I can’t wait to share all these fun tips and to extend challenges for your family to enjoy with me.

Are you ready?

Sign up to take our 30-Day Real~Food~Money~Saving Challenge!

As a thank you for joining us, we’ll give you a free copy of Heavenly Homemaker’s Top 10 Money Saving Recipes.

Top 10 Money Saving Recipes

 

Let the 30-Day Real~Food~Money~Saving Challenge begin!

Bonus points if you tell your friends about it. Friends don’t let friends pay too much money for groceries (or eat margarine), am I right? :)

Whole Wheat Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Muffin Recipe

This Whole Wheat Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Muffin recipe has become a favorite at our house, especially as we’ve kicked off a new school year!

oatmeal chocolate chip muffins

Our kids are forever on the run this year as two of the three boys still at home are taking a variety of music lessons, college classes, and even a couple classes at our local high school.

Oh hey, I haven’t told you yet! Nebraska has changed their home school laws which had been very limiting as to the extracurricular activities our kids could participate in at the public school. As of this year, the only eligibility requirement for participation in public school activities is that home school students take two classes at the public school. Boom. We’re in. Our boys are incredibly excited to play high school soccer this spring!!

This means our high school senior and sophomore guys have quite a crazy schedule to juggle. They are back and forth and forth and back…and it’s a good thing they are responsible and that God made coffee.

Gone are the days of starting our day leisurely at the breakfast table together. We’ve moved our family Bible reading up to a much earlier start time so that we can still make it a priority. And instead of rolling out of bed just in time to head down for breakfast and Bible time together, the older boys have to be actually ready to walk out the door wearing actual clothes and actual shoes.

It’s working, and it’s working beautifully. God knows what we need and He continually provides. While our two high schoolers are running to and fro and doing all their home or college studies in between their public school classes, our 7th grader and I have a little extra quiet time to read his History and Science lessons together.

So now you know a little about our new adventures this year. But what you really wanted to read about today is this Whole Wheat Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Muffin recipe. Am I right?

This recipe makes a big tray full of hearty muffins that are filling, but also delicious (because…chocolate chips and butter). They taste fabulous with a cup of coffee and of course, there’s some great fresh fruit available this time of year and we are taking full advantage! So without further ado…

Whole Wheat Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Muffin Recipe

Whole Wheat Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Muffins
 
Author:
Serves: 16-18
Ingredients
  • 2½ cups whole wheat flour (I use freshly ground soft white wheat)
  • 1½ cups rolled oats
  • ⅓-1/2 cup sucanat, honey, or brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1½ cups milk
  • ½ cup melted butter or coconut oil
  • ½ cup chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, stir together flour, oats, sucanat, baking powder, and salt.
  2. Add eggs, milk, and butter, stirring until just combined.
  3. Fold in chocolate chips.
  4. Scoop batter into 16-18 prepared muffin tins.
  5. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 15-20 minutes or until muffins are golden brown.

Whole Wheat Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Muffins

Make them Dairy Free: Use coconut oil instead of butter and coconut milk instead of regular.
Make them Gluten Free: Use your favorite gluten free flour instead of whole wheat and gluten free oats instead of regular.

Need some protein with your muffin and fruit? So do we! Eggs are always great. And check out this great method for cooking bacon and freezing it for fast breakfast protein!

Tell me about your school year. Are you off to a good start?

How to Cook 5 Pounds of Frozen Hamburger Meat in an Instant Pot in 30 Minutes (and what to do with it)

This is, hands down, my favorite Instant Pot trick so far! I will forevermore cook frozen hamburger meat an Instant Pot as it saves loads of time and I don’t have to thaw, babysit, or stir my meat to get it ready to add to dishes. Wait till you see how easy this is!

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How to Cook Frozen Hamburger Meat in an Instant Pot

Step One: Get hamburger meat out of the freezer.

(But whatever you do, don’t plan ahead. No way, no how! Don’t thaw your meat because life is too short to spend time thinking about details like this.)

Step Two: Pour 1 cup of water into the bottom of the pot under the trivet. (Very important detail!)

Step Three: Put chunks of frozen meat onto the metal trivet inside the pot. Stand them up like soldiers so they’ll cook more evenly.

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Step Four: Put the lid on your Instant Pot. Close the venting valve so it will seal.

Step Five: Set the Instant Pot to 30 minutes on high pressure on Manual Mode.

Step Six: Come back when the machine beeps as if to say, “Your hard work is done. I hope you enjoyed your nap.”

Step Seven: Carefully release the pressure and use a meat thermometer to be sure the internal temp is at least 160 degrees.

Step Eight: Transfer the cooked meat to a big bowl and use a sturdy utensil to break it apart. (I have this “Meat Masher” and love it for this job!)

Now you’ve got five pounds of cooked hamburger to use any way you need! See my big list below of great options!

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Note: What to do with the water and grease at the bottom of your Instant Pot?

If I had one complaint about this meat-cooking method, it would be that all the grease drips to the bottom, leaving the meat a bit dry. What can I say? I may be the only one on the planet who wants to keep a little fat in my meat! So I use a ladle to drizzle some of the water/grease back into the meat after I’ve broken it apart.

How to Cook 5 Pounds of Frozen Hamburger in an Instant Pot

Now I’ve got some great recipes and ideas to share for using your cooked hamburger meat!

33 Recipes for your Cooked Hamburger Meat

Divide your cooked meat into 1-pound portions in freezer bags, freeze, then pull them out to use as needed for quick and Simple Meals! Or divide your meat into separate bowls and start building some of these great meals to make your meal time ridiculously easy!

Have you tried cooking frozen hamburger in an Instant Pot? What are your favorite meals that include hamburger meat?