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  • Beans and Rice: Versatile Recipes to Stretch Your Budget


     Guest Post from The Coupon Project

     

    Beans and rice: the quintessential "dinner on a budget" fare. Unfortunately, I think beans and rice have gotten a bad rap. Sure, it's easy to make a bland dinner with these staples, but with a little creativity, you can cook up a flavorful, budget-friendly meal that will have your entire family smiling.

    Each month in 2014, I've been working to come up with delicious, low-cost meals using Grocery Outlet ingredients and this month? It's all about beans and rice.

     

    Shopping at GO

     

    One of the things that I love about Grocery Outlet is that I never know exactly what I'm going to find - it's truly like hunting for treasure! Today's recipes are very easy to adapt to whatever you happen to find at your store. Here are a few of the good deals that I spotted on my trip last week:

    • Ethnic spices for as low as $0.79
    • Ro-Tel Tomatoes for $0.99
    • Organic canned beans for $0.99
    • Chorizo for $3.39

    My Grocery Outlet trip came to right around $20, and each of my dinners is hearty enough to feed a family of six. Not only that, I had lots of leftovers and items that didn't entirely get used (for instance, I barely put a dent in the HUGE bag of rice I bought at Grocery Outlet for $2.49!).

    Night One: Stuffed Green Peppers with Spanish Rice

     

    Stuffed Pepper

     

     

    For this recipe, I combined several of my favorite foods - stuffed peppers, tacos, and Spanish-style rice - to create a delicious meal. While there are a few steps and ingredients involved, I can assure you, it's very simple to put together and the results are delicious!

     

    Ingredients

     

     

    Here's what you'll need:

    • 6 green peppers, tops and seeds removed
    • 1/2 onion, chopped
    • 1 lb ground beef
    • 2 cups cooked rice (roughly 1/2 cup uncooked)
    • 1 can black beans, drained
    • 1 can corn, drained (or 1 1/2 cup frozen)
    • 1 can Ro-Tel tomatoes
    • 2 tbsp taco seasoning
    • 1 14-oz can tomato sauce
    • 1 cup shredded cheese (I prefer sharp cheddar)
    • Salt & pepper, to taste

     

    Green Bell Pepper

     

    Grocery Outlet consistently has amazing prices on peppers of all kinds! I found these for just $0.49 each - and red, orange, and yellow peppers for just $0.99 each. That makes a recipe like this very affordable! Keeping in mind you'll be stuffing these, look for nice-sized peppers that tend to have flatter bottoms.

    Start by washing your peppers, cutting off the tops and removing the seeds.

     

    Boiling Peppers

     

    Bring a pot of water to a rolling boil and plop your peppers in for 5 minutes. Remove them with tongs and place in a baking dish. Add a bit of salt and let them sit while you prepare the rest of the recipe.

     

    Filling for Peppers

     

    Saute the onion until translucent (about a couple minutes), then brown the ground beef. Season with salt and pepper and drain off the excess fat. Next, mix in the 2 cups of cooked rice, the Ro-Tel tomatoes, the beans, corn, and taco seasoning. 

     

    More Filling

     

     I encourage you to taste your food at this point to make sure it's seasoned how you want. Once you stuff your peppers, this will be more difficult to do!

     

    Daughter stuffing peppers

     

    This next step is a fun one to involve your kids with! As you might have guessed, you're going to stuff those peppers with your rice and beans mixture. After every spoonful, I had her gently pat down the mixture with the back of her spoon so we could really pack in the goodness.

     

    Stuffed Peppers Ready to Bake

     

    Next, you're going to dump that can of tomato sauce on top - this helps keep everything moist and delicious during the baking process - and top with the cheese. I prefer cheddar, but you could get creative with whatever cheese strikes your fancy at Grocery Outlet! Bake in a 325º oven for 25-30 minutes.

    I found I had a good 2-3 cups of the rice and beans mixture leftover. I ended up freezing this portion for the next time I make this recipe.

     

     Cheesy Pepper

     

     

    These turned out just amazing! Full of flavor, and the beans and rice will really fill you up! My husband and I also found they were tasty reheated the next day for lunch. Enjoy!

     

    Night Two: Southern Red Beans and Rice

     

     Red Beans and Rice

     

    It's night two, and while we'll still keep with the beans and rice theme, we're going to do something completely different and take inspiration from New Orleans and this Emeril Lagasse recipe.

     

    Sausage

     

    While at Grocery Outlet, I noticed this chorizo for just $3.39. I've used this brand of sausage before (see my meatballs recipe from a few months back) and LOVED it. I understand chorizo might not exactly fit with the New Orleans theme, but I'm going with it anyways. (Hence the vague "Southern" in the recipe title!)

     

    Rice Ingredients

     

    Here's what you'll need:

    • 1 lb dry red beans
    • 1 cup onions, chopped
    • 1 small red bell pepper, chopped
    • 1 stalk celery, chopped
    • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
    • 1 lb chorizo (or sausage of your choice)
    • 3 tbsp minced garlic
    • Salt & pepper, to taste
    • 1 tsp dried thyme OR a couple sprigs fresh thyme
    • 2 bay leaves
    • 4-6 cups chicken broth or water
    • 1 cup beer (optional)
    • cayenne or hot sauce (optional)
    • steamed rice, to serve

     

    Beans


    Cooking with dried beans versus canned can really save you money! If you've ever been intimidated by cooking them from their dried version, don't be. Simply rinse and sort them, and place them in a deep pot with 10 cups of water. Bring to a boil for 2 minutes, then cover and remove the pot from the heat for an hour. After this, you can rinse and drain them and proceed with the recipe.

     

    Mixing Ingredients

     

    Saute the onion, bell pepper, and celery in a little bit of vegetable oil. Season with the thyme, salt, and pepper and cook for about 5 minutes, until soft. Next, work in your chorizo and bay leaves and brown.

    About this time, my son wandered into the kitchen inquiring about the delicious smell! I was pleased to tell him it was dinner!

     

     Mix in the beans

     

    I did not drain my chorizo, because I wanted the flavor to really infuse my beans, but you could drain it a bit if you wanted at this point. Add the beans and garlic. I then added 1 quart of chicken broth and 1 cup of beer. If you want to skip the beer, just use more chicken broth. You could also use water in place of all/part of the broth, too. The important thing is to make sure you add enough liquid to cover the beans.

    Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Once the beans start to get tender (anywhere from 30-60 minutes) smash about half of them up against the side of the pot with the back of a spoon. Then, continue to simmer, stirring occasionally, until you've reached a nice consistency and flavor. Ideally, you want some liquid - but not entirely soupy. If your beans start to get too mushy, you can always work in more liquid.

     

    Beans and Rice

     

    These beans came out very good! This also produced a HUGE pot - enough to easily serve 6, 8, or more. My version has quite a bit of flavor, but I went easy on the spice since I knew my kids would be eating it. If you like a bit of a kick, I'd add a pinch of cayenne or hot sauce. Serve over rice.

    If you've grown tired of plain ol' rice and beans, I hope I've challenged your thinking with how delicious they really can be. Make sure to shop Grocery Outlet first for inspiration for your rice and beans dishes and see how much you can save.

    Join me next month for another menu plan and shopping list!

    Angela Russell blogs at The Coupon Project, a site that encourages families to live well for less. She lives in Tacoma, Washington with her firefighter husband and two small kids. In the rare event she finds spare time, she loves gardening, hanging out with her girlfriends, and watching old cheesy monster movies.

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  • Our Fourth Annual Independence from Hunger® Food Drive Starts on July 1st

    Did you know that 1 in every 6 Americans is food insecure and 46.5 million Americans (15%) were reported as living at or below the poverty level in 2012?* To help fight hunger in our local communities, we are thrilled to launch our Fourth Annual Independence from Hunger® Food Drive on July 1st.

     

    Independence from Hunger

     

    What is Independence from Hunger®?
    Independence from Hunger® is a month-long, company-wide campaign where customers can donate food and/or cash to support local food assistance partners. Every Grocery Outlet store is teaming up with an agency in their area and all donations received throughout the campaign will go directly to that partner – staying in the community of that store’s customers.

    You can make a difference by visiting your local Grocery Outlet and participating in one of these easy steps:
    • Look for specially-marked food items. These are items that each local food agency has identified as "high-need" items. Purchase these products and then place in the collection bin at the front of the store.
    • Pick up a pre-made bag that is filled with an assortment of the groceries that have been identified as needed – bags are $4.99 or $9.99.

    Oakland Independence from Hunger display

    • Tell your cashier that you'd like to make a cash donation at the register. Donations will go directly to that store’s local food agency partner. Donate $1, $5 or round up your change.
    • Donate on our Facebook page where we will have an online fundraiser to benefit Berkeley Food Pantry.
    • Pick up information at a Grocery Outlet store about hunger, food insecurity and local/national resources for people in need. Be informed and willing to help.
    • Join the events at your local store to support the Independence from Hunger® food drive.

    In our first year - July 2011 – we were able to donate more than $223,000 in cash, gift cards and food to help support local food assistance agencies through the generosity of our customers and community partners. In July of 2012, donations increased to over $292,000 —more than half a million dollars donated in just two years! In its 3rd year, the total reached was $300,000. And this year’s goal is to raise enough to put the total donated amount over the $1 million mark.

     

    Maple Valley Food Bank donation

    And our CEO, MacGregor Read, knows how important this is to the communities where our stores are located:
    “The face of poverty has changed and hunger is a reality in every community throughout the country. We are eager for the Fourth Annual Independence from Hunger Campaign® because it is a time for communities to rally together and help neighbors in need. All of the donations collected at each store will directly impact people in your community.”

    Each of our owner/operators is committed to their community. They have chosen a food assistance agency making a difference within its unique community. We can’t do this without each of you. Stop in to your local Grocery Outlet today and help your community.

    * (U.S. Census Bureau, Income, Poverty and Health Insurance Coverage in the U.S. - Data collected in 2012 and released September, 2013.)

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  • Grilled Rainbow Vegetables


     Guest Post from The Coupon Project

     

    Last month, I shared that one of the best ways I've found to save money on your groceries is to plan your meals around seasonal produce, not meat. Not only is this a healthful approach to eating, it's also a great way to prevent dinner ruts! Today I want to show you how I took the bargains I found at Grocery Outlet and turned them into two delicious, budget-friendly meals.

     

    Peppers

     

    My Grocery Outlet store almost always carries bell peppers at low prices! I decided to use that as the inspiration for this month's frugal recipes. 

     

    Grocery Outlet Ingredients

     

    Here are some of the great deals I picked up at Grocery Outlet to complete a couple dinners:
    • Chicken at $2.19/lb
    • Zucchini and peppers at $1 each
    • Red onion at $0.50
    • Organic canned beans at $0.99

     I even found a big bag of bamboo skewers for just $0.99! Since we're moving into summer now, I took that as my cue to do some grilling!

    All told, I spent a little less than $15 at Grocery Outlet for these ingredients! (See what I'm starting to get at by featuring vegetables?)

     

    Night One: Honey Chicken and Grilled Vegetable Skewers


    What could be more fun than making kabobs for dinner? They are simple to make and full of flavor. It's also an easy way to sneak in extra veggies in your family's diet! Today's recipe is adapted from this recipe I spotted at AllRecipes.

     

    Here's what you'll need:
    • 1-2 lb chicken, cut into 1" chunks (I found that 1 lb made 4 skewers, plan accordingly!)
    • 3 bell peppers, cut into big chunks (I used red, yellow, and orange)
    • 1 red onion, cut into big chunks
    • 1/3 cup olive oil
    • 1/3 cup honey
    • 1/4 cup soy sauce
    • 2 tsp minced garlic
    • ground pepper
    • skewers
    • Salt & pepper, to taste

    Start by chopping your vegetables into large-size chunks. As much as possible, try to cut them roughly the same size for even cooking.

     

    Chopped Veggies

     

    Mix the honey, oil, soy sauce, garlic, and pepper in a bowl. Allow your chicken and chopped vegetables to marinate in it at least 2 hours in the fridge. You could even allow it to marinate overnight if you have the time!

    Skewers

     

    When you're ready to cook, heat up your grill (or grill pan, as I'm using!). Using the skewers, alternate threading a vegetable and chicken cube until full. As you can tell from my picture above, I left some room at the bottom and the top for easy eating. In some cases, I added an extra veggie here and there, too.

    This is going to take anywhere from 12 - 20 minutes cooking time, depending on the temperature of your grill and the thickness of your food. Rotate every few minutes to ensure even cooking.

     


    Grilled Chicken Skewers

     

     
    You could serve this alongside a salad, fresh buttered bread, and some fresh fruit. Feel free to change up this recipe to suit your preferences and what you find at Grocery Outlet! Mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, zucchini and jalapenos (de-seeded!) would also be delicious.

    Enjoy!

    Night Two: Grilled Rainbow Vegetable Pasta

     

    Summer Vegetable Salad

     

    For the second night, we're going to do something a little bit different with grilled vegetables! This dish has a ton of flavor, it's good for you, and it's inexpensive. What more could you ask for?

    Here's what you'll need:

    • 1 lb cooked & drained pasta
    • 1 can Great Northern Beans, drained (or beans of your choice)
    • 1 red bell pepper
    • 1 orange bell pepper
    • 1 yellow bell pepper
    • 1 small zucchini, sliced
    • 1 red onion, cut into large chunks
    • 1/2 cup olive oil
    • 1/4 cup fresh torn basil leaves
    • Parmesan cheese, to taste
    • Salt & pepper, to taste

    Rainbow Veggies

     

    Start by preheating your grill or grill pan. Then, get to work on your veggies! As I was chopping mine up I realized, "Eureka! It's a rainbow!" Hence, the name of this recipe. Toss your veggies with 1/4 cup olive oil, some salt and pepper.

     

    Grilled Veggies

     

    Grill your veggies until they are fork tender and have that nice char-y look about them. 

     

    Summer Vegetable Pasta

     

    When your veggies are cooked, toss them in a large bowl with the cooked pasta and can of beans. To that, add 1/4 cup olive oil, the fresh torn basil, plus the cheese, salt, and pepper to taste. While this is a vegetarian dish, you could easily add grilled chicken, steak, or shrimp if you wish. Either way - it's absolutely delicious!

    The next time you're shopping at Grocery Outlet, consider how you could turn the bargains you find into healthful, budget-friendly meals!

    Join me next month for another menu plan and shopping list!

    Angela Russell blogs at The Coupon Project, a site that encourages families to live well for less. She lives in Tacoma, Washington with her firefighter husband and two small kids. In the rare event she finds spare time, she loves gardening, hanging out with her girlfriends, and watching old cheesy monster movies.

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  • The Best Way to Your Father’s Heart – His Stomach

    Father’s Day is a time to show your dad how much he means to you and how thankful you are for him as a dad. What is the best way to show him how much you care? Feed him! Select one of the dad-approved recipes and make him a delicious meal this Father’s Day. We highly recommend:

     

     Pulled Pork Sandwich

    Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Sandwich

     

     Sausage and Pepper Mac 'n Cheese

    Sausage and Pepper Mac 'n Cheese


    Make sure to pick up your top ingredients at Grocery Outlet when you are getting ready to prepare the lip-smacking meal. When you shop at Grocery Outlet, you know you will get big savings and high-quality taste! Find a store near you!

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  • Fresh Vegetarian Meals for Summer


     Guest Post from The Coupon Project

    One of my best tips for getting out of a dinner rut? Plan your menu around vegetables, not meat! Not only is this a creative way to menu plan, it's good for your body and your budget


    On the vine tomatoes

    This month, I decided to shop at Grocery Outlet for inspiration for a couple vegetarian meals. I wanted to come up with meals that would be light and refreshing as the weather has started to heat up!

    Of course, I didn't leave my store disappointed! Check out some of the deals I spotted...

     

     Deals from Grocery Outlet

    I snagged a 1-lb package of tomatoes on the vine for $1.99, 2 containers of cherry tomatoes for $1.50, grated Parmesan cheese for just $1.99, and a full pound of mozzarella cheese for $2.99! After taking the tomatoes home, I knew I wanted to make dinners that played on the flavor combination of one of my all-time favorite appetizers, bruschetta. (And yes, they both turned out AMAZING!)

     

     Wine

    I even managed to find a bottle of Chardonnay for just $2.99, which went perfect with my menu.

    To this, I also picked up a loaf of bread, some garlic, and a red onion! All told, I spent only $17.04 at Grocery Outlet on these simple dinners (including the wine) - the rest of the ingredients needed I already had on hand (and you likely do right now, too).

     

    Night One: Broiled Tomato & Herb Sandwiches

     

    Open Faced Sandwiches

     

    I knew I wanted one of my recipes to be a sandwich of some sort. But what to do? That's when I came upon this Broiled Tomato Sandwich recipe. I loved the idea of an open-faced sandwich! I took the idea and made some modifications to the recipe to suit my taste. The result? Pure heaven!

    Here's what you'll need:

    • 1 lb tomatoes-on-the-vine, sliced
    • Loaf of bread (choose something that is a little "sturdier")
    • 2 tbsp Parmesan cheese (plus more for top)
    • ¼ cup butter, softened
    • ½ tsp dried parsley
    • ½ tsp dried basil
    • ¼ tsp garlic powder
    • 2 tbsp olive oil
    • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
    • Salt & pepper, to taste

    Cut Tomatoes
    Start by preheating your broiler, then get to work on marinating your tomatoes. Whisk the olive oil and vinegar in a bowl, and add some salt and pepper. Gently place your sliced tomatoes in, stirring to cover. Here's a tip: when you're ready to use the tomatoes, don't throw out that marinade. It makes a delicious dressing!

     

    Cheese Spread

     Next, make an herb butter. Combine the softened butter with the dried herbs, 2 tbsp Parmesan, and garlic salt.

     

    The Essential Baking Company Bread

     

     I picked up this beautiful loaf of bread at my Grocery Outlet for $2.49. Because you will be topping the bread with tomatoes and butter, you want a bit of a heavier bread like this. Too soft, and the whole thing could go mushy on you.

     

    Tomato Sandwiches

     
    Lightly toast your bread. I did this by placing in my broiler for a minute. I didn't let it turn brown at all; just enough to firm it up a little. Then, spread the herb butter on your bread and top with your tomatoes. Add a bit more Parmesan cheese and throw under the broiler for a few minutes. Watch it closely; you don't want it to burn! Mine was done in about 5 minutes.

     

     Open Faced Sandwich

     
    You can enjoy this sandwich open-faced, or, combine two for a full sandwich. To keep it light, serve with a salad using the reserved marinade. This sandwich was so good, I found myself returning to the fridge later than night for a second helping!


    Night Two: Bruschetta Pasta

     

    Bruschetta Pasta
     
    For night two, we're keeping with bruschetta theme, but doing something a little different. Your costs will still stay down because many of the ingredients you used last night can be used in tonight's dinner! I took this recipe for Bruschetta Pasta and paired down the ingredients to keep it simple and frugal. This pasta is so delicious, you'll find yourself going back for seconds (my husband and I sure did!).

     

    Vegetables

     

    Here's what you'll need:
    • 2 cups grape tomatoes, halved (one container at Grocery Outlet = 2 cups)
    • 1/3 cup olive oil
    • 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
    • 1 clove garlic
    • 2 tbsp minced red onion
    • Salt & pepper, to taste
    • 8 oz mozzarella cheese, cut into cubes
    • 1 lb pasta of your choice, plus 1/4 cup reserved cooking liquid
    • 8-10 torn basil leaves

     

     More Marinade!

     
    Very similar to last night's dinner, you're going to start by creating your marinade! Mix the olive oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, and minced garlic clove in a large bowl.

    Tomatoes and Mozzarella

     

    To the bowl, add your halved cherry tomatoes, red onion, cubed mozzarella, and basil. Stir to coat.

     

     Bowl of Bruschetta Pasta

    To complete the dish, toss in the cooked and drained pasta along with the 1/4 cup of reserved cooking liquid. Serve hot, or refrigerate a bit and serve cold. Either way, it's absolutely delicious!

    The next time you're planning your family's menu, think about how you could save money by using similar ingredients or going vegetarian for a dinner or two. Then, make sure to shop Grocery Outlet first to save even more.

    Join me next month for another menu plan and shopping list!

    Angela Russell blogs at The Coupon Project, a site that encourages families to live well for less. She lives in Tacoma, Washington with her firefighter husband and two small kids. In the rare event she finds spare time, she loves gardening, hanging out with her girlfriends, and watching old cheesy monster movies.


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  • Guest Blog: Meladramatic Mommy on Budget-Friendly Snacks

    Just in time for weekend sports games, we wanted to share a fun post from Melanie of Mel, a Dramatic Mommy on budget-friendly snacks at Grocery Outlet:

    Between packing lunches and sports weekends, snack foods have started taking up a bigger portion of my budget. There haven't been too many breakthroughs in terms of the variety of portable, healthier, non-perishables. My choices seem to be cheap and bad for you, or healthy and expensive. Organics? Hardly ever an option.

    I wasn't sure about taking my local Grocery Outlet up on their snack food challenge. I'm not used to shopping without coupons and couldn't see how I'd be able to save money without them. Plus, I thought the store would be filled with brands I'd never heard of. I was wrong on both counts.

     

    Organic Snacks from Grocery Outlet

     

    Since I've been paying attention to prices for so long, I have a good sense of when an item is priced well and when (even on 'sale') it is not. This knowledge came in handy while I was shopping. I picked up 26 items* and paid $29.34.

    When I took my receipt to Vons to compare, the savings were very clear. I found six items that were identical to the ones I purchased at Grocery Outlet. If I had purchased the same things in the same quantities from Vons, I would have spent $26.85 for only 10 items.

     

    Price Comparison

     

    That's a significant difference. Again, since snacks go so quickly in our house, they're something I keep an eye on because they can quickly take over my grocery budget. Now, will I see these same items the next time I go to Grocery Outlet? Maybe. Maybe not. But I'm fine with that. I'd rather a slightly rotating inventory with low prices than the same things over and over. Overall, I'm happy with my first experience and can say with certainty I will go back again.

    *There should be two more items in the photo: one more Yopa (I got hungry) and a 59oz bottle of Tropicana Orange Tangerine.

    For more of Melanie's post and a $25 gift card giveaway, visit her blog, Mel, a Dramatic Mommy.

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  • One Bag of Frozen Tilapia: Two Dinners!


     Guest Post from The Coupon Project



    I know it can be tough to stick with a budget and come up with interesting dinners at the same time! For each month of 2014, I've challenged myself to shop at Grocery Outlet for inspiration. The goal is to come up with a couple nights' worth of dinners that use similar ingredients in different ways. The result? Non-boring dinners that please your family and your wallet.

    After the last couple month's worth of heavier (but delicious!) meals involving sausage and pork, I decided it was time to lighten things up a bit. As the spring months start to warm up, I find myself naturally craving lighter fare. So this month? It's all about FISH!

     

    Tilapia Ingredients

     

    I purchased everything pictured above at my Grocery Outlet store for just $20.80! (To be fair, a bag of frozen sweet potatoes are also included in that amount and didn't make it into the picture.) I actually ended up saving more than I spent on this trip and check it out - I have a bunch of produce, fish fillets, and organic beans. Not bad for good-for-you food!

    Here's what I ended up buying at Grocery Outlet. Please note prices & availability may vary from store to store.
    - 1 bag of frozen Tilapia fillets, 2 lbs ($5.99)
    - 1 package broccoli slaw ($1.99)
    - 1 red onion ($0.50)
    - garlic (3 for $0.99)
    - 2 mangoes ($0.50 each!)
    - 1 lemon ($0.50)
    - 1 bag jalapenos ($1.99)
    - 1 bottle lime juice ($0.99)
    - 1 red pepper ($0.99)
    - 1 bunch cilantro ($0.50)
    - 1 can organic black beans ($0.99)
    - 1 bag Rold Gold Pretzels ($2.69)
    - 1 bag frozen sweet potatoes ($1.29)
    - 1 bag corn tortillas $1.13

    From the pantry:
    - ½ cup flour
    - 2 eggs
    - sea salt & pepper
    - 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
    - ½ teaspoon ground cumin
    - 1-2 tbsp olive oil
    - vegetable oil, to fry


    Night One: Pretzel-Coated Tilapia Fillets

    I noticed that this recipe for Pretzel-Coated Fish got great reviews from AllRecipes.com. I also loved the simplicity of the ingredients! I decided to make a couple alterations based on my preferences and what I found at Grocery Outlet. Note that I sprang for tilapia, but my Grocery Outlet had several other varieties of lean white fish in stock that would work just fine for today's recipe (think cod, swai, halibut). Feel free to swap out as you wish!

    Start by taking ½ cup flour, about 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp of pepper and placing in a gallon-sized bag. Add 1 lb of thawed fish fillets, and toss gently to coat. Now, create your stations (as pictured above). In one pie plate or shallow bowl, whisk two eggs. In a second pie plate or bowl, add about 1 cup crushed pretzels. You can crush the pretzels using a knife or coffee grinder, but my trick is to place them in a plastic bag and mash them with the blunt end of a meat tenderizer. (It's fun; try it!)

    Next, heat up some vegetable oil in a large skillet and pan fry your coated fish for about 10 minutes, until cooked through. (Turning over at about the half way mark.)

     

    Pretzel-Coated Tilapia

     

    I served mine with a bit of the broccoli slaw and some of the sweet potato fries - both of which I snagged at Grocery Outlet. Not only is this a beautiful dish - it's delicious!

     

    Plated Tilapia with Broccoli Slaw

     

     

    Night Two: Tilapia Tacos with Mango Salsa

    For night two, we're taking a totally different direction with that fish! Thaw out the remaining 1 lb of fillets from your bag. Whisk together a tablespoon or two of olive oil, the cumin, 1 tbsp fresh chopped cilantro, a dash of lime juice, and a bit of salt and pepper. Drizzle over the fish and allow to marinate in your fridge for at least one hour.

     

    Marinating Tilapia

     

    Next, make your mango salsa! Mix together 2 small chopped mangoes (or one large), 2 tablespoons of minced red onion, ½ minced seeded jalapeno, ½ minced red bell pepper, 1 minced garlic clove, 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar, and 1 tablespoon lime juice. While this may seem like a lot of work - trust me, it's worth it! It's also the most labor intensive component of both recipes. I should also add this ends up being enough to add on as a relish to your fish tacos, but if you'd like more to serve with chips or have on hand for later - you might want to double the recipe!

    Add it to the fridge to marinate a good hour or better before throwing the meal together.

     

    Mango Salsa

     

    When it's time for dinner, pan fry your fish in a skillet with a little oil. If you prefer, you could also bake it.

    When the fish is done, you can cube it or slice it into pieces and fill it in warmed corn tortillas. Top with the mango salsa. I served mine with more of the broccoli slaw and some of the organic black beans I'd picked up at Grocery Outlet. Season these with some of the leftover cilantro and lime. Be creative!

     

    Finished tacos

    The next time you're planning your family's menu, think about how you could save money by using similar ingredients or leftovers for a second meal. Then, make sure to shop Grocery Outlet first to save even more.

    Join me next month for another menu plan and shopping list!

    Angela Russell blogs at The Coupon Project, a site that encourages families to live well for less. She lives in Tacoma, Washington with her firefighter husband and two small kids. In the rare event she finds spare time, she loves gardening, hanging out with her girlfriends, and watching old cheesy monster movies.


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  • Guest Blog: Rave & Review, plus a Giveaway!

    Leanne from Rave & Review visited Grocery Outlet for the first time.  We wanted to share her blog post and the opportunity to enter her giveaway for a Grocery Outlet gift card.

     

    I started noticing many friends sharing their couponing successes online and started clipping myself, but some weeks I simply did not have time to fully plan for each shopping trip. And, then I noticed that a friend of mine was posting shopping success stories without ever clipping a coupon.

    Her secret? Our local Grocery Outlet store that she swears by for great deals and steals. What surprised me most wasn’t the low prices she paid, but the quality of the food she was buying. I’ve always known her as someone who was the picture of health – organic preferences, homemade whenever possible, and foods with as little ingredients as possible, so I was shocked to find out that she got nearly all her groceries there each week.

    Sure, I got these flyers in the mail, but I had dismissed it as simply a discount store. Boy, was I surprised to find it might be the solution I was looking for to help our food budget!

     

    Read the full review here: Rave & Review: Budget-friendly Grocery Shopping with Kids at Grocery Outlet


     Rave & Review

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  • Your Guide for Going Meatless in March & April

    With many kicking off new healthy habits for the year and spring holidays starting this month, you might be scrambling to find meatless meals that the whole family will enjoy.

    Check out some of our top tips to go meatless this season that will make your mouth water!

    Substitute Fish

    While you can replace your tried-and-true weekday meals with fish fillets or tuna steaks, try substituting fish into your favorite recipes in place of meat. Love grilling burgers? Try salmon patties. Can’t get enough spaghetti and meatballs? Swap in shrimp in your spaghetti. Enjoy your chicken tacos? Experiment with scallop tacos. Using substitutions with fish, the world is your oyster.  

     

    Shrimp Pasta

    Give Tofu A Try

    Tofu might not conjure the most appetizing thoughts, but what is great about tofu is that it takes on a variety of flavors, depending on how you prepare it. We’re not saying you have should replace your Thanksgiving day turkey with a tofurky, but try incorporating tofu into rice dishes, stir fry dishes, soups, and salads for an added protein punch.

    Be Bold With Beans

    Beans are in fact a magical fruit, well…not a fruit but a legume anyway. They are wonderfully filling, and are packed with protein. For dinner ideas, crowd-pleaser recipes include Black Bean Burritos, Polenta with Beans or Falafel.

     

    Beet Salad

    Let Your Veggies Shine

    Spring is the season for a variety of vegetables to be at their peak of freshness. Veggies like artichokes, asparagus, avocado, beets, carrots, cherries, greens, oranges, strawberries, sweet onions and more are all in season in the March and April time. Tempt your taste buds with a Roasted Beet SaladQuinoa Stuffed Avocados or Spring Vegetable Stew.

    Need some more inspiration? Visit your local Grocery Outlet store and stock up on meatless staples to create your own recipe! 

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  • Slow Cooker Pulled Pork, Two Ways!


     Guest Post from The Coupon Project

    Every month in 2014, I'm sharing a plan for a couple meals you can easily put together for your family by shopping Grocery Outlet. My goal is to keep the menu to $2 or less per serving, based on a family of six. To capitalize on the savings I'll get by shopping at Grocery Outlet, I'll be creating meals that use similar ingredients, or as in the recipes featured this month, using one main ingredient two different ways.

    This month, I wanted to create a couple recipes that minimized your prep time. And what's more convenient than whipping out the slow cooker? So the first day, we're going to throw a pork roast in the slow cooker and then shred it and make pulled sandwiches. We'll use a bit of the leftover meat to create a deliciously different pizza!
     
    Haul from Grocery Outlet


    Here's what I ended up buying at Grocery Outlet:
    - 3.5 lb pork roast
    - 1 package bacon
    - bag of onions
    - garlic
    - 1 clamshell organic salad greens
    - 1 2-cup package pizza cheese
    - 1 pizza crust mix (on sale for just $0.33!)
    - 1 bottle barbecue sauce
    - 1 bottle pickles
    - hamburger buns

    From the pantry:
    - 1 tbsp brown sugar
    - 1 tbsp chili powder
    - 1 tbsp kosher salt
    - 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
    - 1 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped

    All together, I paid just under $25 out of pocket at Grocery Outlet for the items from my grocery list above! That works out to $11.64 per meal, or $2.08 per serving (based on 6 servings). That works out to just a tick over $2 per serving, but I should point out that I suspect this menu plan serves more than 6. The pork roast yielded SO MUCH shredded meat that I gave a bunch to a friend to enjoy for dinner!

    Night One: Slow Cooker Pulled BBQ Pork Sandwiches

    I found this highly-rated slow cooker pulled pork over at Chow.com and made some modifications for today's recipe.

     

    Pork Roast

     

    Place one thinly sliced onion and two cloves of minced garlic in the bottom of your slow cooker and pour 1 cup of broth on top. Next, combine the brown sugar, chili powder, salt, and cumin in a small bowl. Pat your 3-4 lb pork roast dry with paper towels, trim as desired, and then rub the spice mixture into the meat. Place the pork roast on top of the onions and garlic in your slow cooker and cook on low 8-10 hours or high 6-8 hours.

     

    Cooked Pork

    When I went to remove the roast from my slow cooker later in the day, my 5-year old daughter wandered into the kitchen and asked, "Mama, what is that wonderful smell?" So warning: be prepared to come home to a delicious aroma!

     

    Pulled Pork

    Remove the roast from the slow cooker and shred using two forks. My roast just fell apart, it was that moist! Don't forget about the broth and onions still in your slow cooker! Run them through a strainer and return the onions back to the slow cooker. You can return the shredded pork to the slow cooker as well. After the remaining broth has sat for a few minutes, the fat will float to the surface so you can easily skim it.

    Add 1 ½ - 2 cups of the barbecue sauce to the pork and combine. Pour in the reserved broth ¼cup at a time, until the meat is moist.

     

    Pulled Pork Sandwich


    The first night, serve the pulled pork on hamburger buns!



    Pickles

     

    I served mine alongside these hot & spicy pickles I found at Grocery Outlet for just $1.49! This is comfort food at its best and quick to serve up!

    Night Two: Leftover Pulled Pork Pizza

     

    Pulled Pork Pizza

    Now of course, you could go on and enjoy pulled pork sandwiches for the second night, but I want to encourage you to be creative with your leftovers!

    Pizza Crust

    Use any pizza crust recipe you like, but I opted for these Betty Crocker pizza crust mixes at Grocery Outlet for just $0.33! One of these makes a 12" pizza. I'd recommend you use 2 or even 3 of these crusts for feeding a larger family. All you need to do is combine with water and let sit for five minutes!

    I topped my pizza with 2 tablespoons of barbecue sauce (leftover from yesterday's recipe), one cup of pizza cheese, one cup of the pulled pork, and 2 slices of cooked bacon, chopped up.

     

    Pulled Pork Pizza Slices

     

    I topped with a tablespoon of chopped cilantro after cooking. Of course, there are so many variations you could take on this pizza. Try adding sliced red onion, green peppers, or crushed red pepper. You could also nix the cheese or add fresh sliced tomato. This pizza was oh so good - and it took only minutes to throw together thanks to reusing the previous night's leftovers!

    The next time you're planning your family's menu, think about how you could save money by using similar ingredients or leftovers for a second meal. Then, make sure to shop Grocery Outlet first to save even more.

    To download this recipe in a PDF, click here: March Recipe

    Join me next month for another menu plan and shopping list!

    Angela Russell blogs at The Coupon Project, a site that encourages families to live well for less. She lives in Tacoma, Washington with her firefighter husband and two small kids. In the rare event she finds spare time, she loves gardening, hanging out with her girlfriends, and watching old cheesy monster movies.


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  • Italian Wedding Soup and Spaghetti and Meatballs


     Guest Post from The Coupon Project



    Every month in 2014, I'll be working to give a plan for a couple meals you can easily put together for your family by shopping Grocery Outlet. My goal is to keep the menu to $2 or less per serving, based on a family of six. In addition to finding terrific bargains at Grocery Outlet, I'm going to work to save money by using similar ingredients across both meals. For instance, in January I shared an awesome hearty slow cooker chili recipe and then we took the leftovers and turned them into burritos for the next day!

    For February, it's all about meatballs! Meatballs are delicious and quick to make, plus they can be used in a variety of dishes. We'll start by making up a big batch of meatballs the first night we'll make an amazing Italian Wedding Soup. The next night, we'll simmer the remaining meatballs in a simple spaghetti sauce.

     

    Ingredients

    Chances are you may already have many of the ingredients needed for either or both of these recipes like I did!


    Here's what I ended up buying at Grocery Outlet:
    - 1 lb lean ground beef
    - 1 lb ground bulk sausage (OR for leaner recipes, opt for a 2nd lb of lean ground beef)
    - bag of onions
    - bag of carrots
    - 1 clamshell organic baby spinach
    - Fresh grated Parmesan cheese (I found this for just $1.99!)
    - Loaf of sourdough bread
    - 2 (28 oz) cans of whole tomatoes (I found these for just $0.99!)
    - 4 cans chicken broth

     
    From the pantry:
    - 2 tbsp Italian seasoning
    - 1 cup dry breadcrumbs
    - 1/2 cup dry pasta (for soup) - any kind you have will do!
    - dry spaghetti noodles
    - minced garlic
    - 6 oz can tomato paste
    - 2 eggs
    - 1 tsp sugar
    - 1 bay leaf
    - 1/4 cup olive oil
    - salt and fresh ground pepper

     
    All together, I paid $23.27 out of pocket at Grocery Outlet for the items from my grocery list above! That works out to $11.64 per meal, or $1.94 per serving (based on 6 servings) - just under my $2 menu plan goal!

    Not only that, both of the following recipes are absolutely delicious. Even my picky eating children adored them!

    Step One: Meatball Prep!

     

     Meatball Prep

    The first step is going to be the most time consuming, but lucky for you, it's not that time consuming! I recommend you make all the meatballs for both recipes on the same night, to reduce mess and prep time.

    In a large glass bowl, mix the lean ground beef, sausage (if using), breadcrumbs, 2 tbsp Parmesan cheese, 2 eggs, 2 tsp minced garlic, and tbsp Italian seasoning.

     

     Meatballs!

     

     I find the easiest way to mix is simply by hand! If you can't get over the "ew" factor, you could process in a mixer. Once mixed, roll into small meatballs. I worked to make mine as consistent in size as possible, for even cooking times. You're now ready to make the next two recipes!

    I should mention that the Italian sausage made these meatballs quite tasty, but definitely upped the fat content. If you're looking to reduce that, I recommend you swap out the sausage for another pound of lean ground beef. Another idea would be to pre-cook the meatballs for the recipes below, to cook off some of the fat.

    Night One: Italian Wedding Soup


    Italian Wedding Soup

    I drew inspiration from this recipe at AllRecipes.com for today's easy and delicious soup! Start by bringing your 4 cans of chicken broth (8 cups total) to a boil. Then, add 1 cup diced carrots, 1/2 cup pasta (I used corkscrew), 1 cup spinach and 1/2 of your batch of meatballs. Cook for 10 minutes, until the meatballs are cooked. That's it! I served mine with the loaf of sourdough bread.

     

    Night Two: Italian Spaghetti Sauce and Meatballs

     

    Spaghetti & Meatballs

     

    Once you've tried this delicious spaghetti sauce, I dare you to go back to the jarred stuff! I took inspiration from this recipe at Allrecipes.com.

     

    Spaghetti Sauce


    This recipe is incredibly simple to prepare, but it does require some time - so make sure to plan ahead! Saute the onion and garlic in olive oil until translucent. Stir in the 2 cans of whole tomatoes, salt, sugar, and bay leaf. Cover, reduce to a simmer for 90 minutes. Next, add your meatballs, tomato paste, Italian seasoning and pepper to taste. Cook another 30 minutes, or until the meatballs are fully cooked. Serve with the pasta of your choice. I also love mine topped with a little Parmesan.

    The next time you're planning your family's menu, think about how you could save money by using similar ingredients or leftovers for a second meal. Then, make sure to shop Grocery Outlet first to save even more.

    Join me next month for another menu plan and shopping list!

    Angela Russell blogs at The Coupon Project, a site that encourages families to live well for less. She lives in Tacoma, Washington with her firefighter husband and two small kids. In the rare event she finds spare time, she loves gardening, hanging out with her girlfriends, and watching old cheesy monster movies.


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  • Hearty Slow Cooker Chili and Chili Cheese Burritos


     Guest Post from The Coupon Project



    You're short on time, you're short on money, you're short on ideas!

    Does this sound like you? If so, I want you to join me this year at the Bargainista Blog. Each month, I'm going to give you a Grocery Outlet shopping list and recipes that will provide 2 meals for a family of 6. My goal will be to keep the total serving cost right around $2 per person, as well as keep your prep work simple. We're going to do this by focusing on similar ingredients between the 2 meals or using the leftovers from the 1st night's meal in a different way for the 2nd night. Here's our plan for January: the first night we're going to make a hearty chili in our slow cooker. Perfect for a cold winter's night and super quick when it comes to prep time! Then the second night, we're going to take the leftover chili and bake up some burritos. We'll also make sure to pick up some fresh salad makings to round out the meals.


    Ingredients

     

    Now if you've made chili before you might think it's a bit boring - but that's only because you've not yet tried this kicked up version complete with sausage! I have made many chili recipes in my day, but I have to say this one is by far the tastiest!

    Grocery List:
    - 1 lb ground beef
    - 1 lb ground bulk sausage
    - 1 yellow onion, chopped
    - 1 green pepper, chopped
    - 2 cloves garlic, chopped
    - 2 cans diced tomatoes, with juice
    - 3 cans chili beans
    - 2 stalks celery, chopped
    - 1 bag sharp cheddar cheese
    - 2 bags 10-ct tortillas
    - 1 bag corn tortilla chips
    - 1 container organic salad greens
    - 1 bottle salad dressing

     From the pantry:
    - 4 tbsp chili powder
    - 2 tbsp beef bouillon
    - 1 tbsp cumin
    - 2 tsp ground oregano
    - 1/2 tsp cayenne
    - plenty of salt and fresh ground pepper

     
    I was able to find everything I needed at Grocery Outlet to complete my two meals. My total cost? Just $26.51! That works out to $2.21 per serving (2 meals at 6 servings each). Plus, I should have some food leftover - for instance, I bought an entire bag of yellow onions. 

    Download a PDF of this recipe to print out here: Chili Recipe

     

    Night One: Hearty Slow-Cooker Chili

     

    Hearty Chili

     

     
    I was inspired by this chili at AllRecipes.com which combines ground beef and sausage! I changed up the recipe a fair amount to incorporate ingredients I found at Grocery Outlet and had in my pantry. I also wanted to make sure this recipe wasn't too spicy, so I omitted some of the spicier ingredients.

     

    Sausage

     

    Lucky for me - I found the ground sausage for just $1.99 at Grocery Outlet! Elsewhere, you'd pay about $4! I also found great deals on the other ingredients for this dish including the yellow onions, green bell pepper, and chili beans.

    To cook your chili, start by browning the ground beef and sausage in a skillet. While your meat is cooking, prep your other ingredients and place them all in a slow cooker - this will help maximize your time in the kitchen! Once the meet is fully browned, drain excess fat and add to the slow cooker. Mix all ingredients thoroughly. Cook on low 8 hours or high 4 hours.

    When complete, simply spoon into bowls and serve! Top with the shredded cheese and serve with the tortilla chips and a generous side of salad.

     

    Chili!

    Night Two: Chili Cheese Burritos

     

    Chili Cheese Burritos

     

    Night Two is going to be a snap because you already have your chili assembled. Preheat you oven to 350°. Spray a cookie sheet or baking pan. Fill a tortilla with a nice dollop of the chili and top with cheddar. Roll and place on the sheet or in the pan. Cook for about 15 minutes, until warmed through and the tortillas are just baked.

    Serve with a side salad.

     Burrito!

     

     I had a couple of these for dinner last night and they are AMAZING! I'm thinking of making a huge batch and freezing them to send with my husband for lunch! My 7-year old son thought they were delicious too, and he's not normally a fan of chili.

    The next time you're planning your family's menu, think about how you could save money by using similar ingredients or leftovers for a second meal. Then, make sure to shop Grocery Outlet first to save even more.

    Join me next month for another menu plan and shopping list!

     

    Angela Russell blogs at The Coupon Project, a site that encourages families to live well for less. She lives in Tacoma, Washington with her firefighter husband and two small kids. In the rare event she finds spare time, she loves gardening, hanging out with her girlfriends, and watching old cheesy monster movies.


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  • Breaking Out of the Dinner Rut: Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Bisque


     Guest Post from The Coupon Project


    The weather's cold, your schedule's packed, and you have no idea what's for dinner. If this sounds like you, here's a thought: whip up a pot of hot soup! Making soup is pretty easy and usually only requires a few ingredients, making it easy on the budget too.

     

    DSCN3461 (600x800)

     

    The other day, I stopped in at my local Grocery Outlet store and found these canned Hunt's tomatoes for just $0.79 each. I decided to roll with it and make tomato bisque! I drew inspiration from this recipe from AllRecipes.com for today's post, eliminating several ingredients and adding roasted red peppers and cheese toast floats for a twist. Ingredients:
    • 4 cans 14.9 oz diced tomatoes
    • 1 red pepper
    • 2 cups half & half
    • 1/4 cup butter
    • 1 cup diced onion
    • 2 tbsp olive oil
    • plenty of salt & pepper, to taste
    • French bread, toasted and buttered, 1 or 2 cubes per bowl (optional)
    • Shredded cheese, about 2 or 3 tbsp per bowl (optional - I used sharp cheddar)

    DSCN3470 (800x600)

     

    Set your oven to 450°. Cut your red pepper into slices, put on a baking sheet, drizzle with the olive oil and top with salt. Roast until they are fork tender and the skins are just starting to char - about 10-15 minutes.

     

    DSCN3476 (800x600)

    Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large stockpot and add in the onions. Sautee until softened. Then add all four cans of tomatoes (undrained), salt, and pepper.

     

    DSCN3479 (800x673)

    About this time, I found my red peppers were roasted, so I added them into the soup mixture. Bring it all to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for about 30 minutes. Next, add in your 2 cups of half and half and stir until heated through.

    DSCN3482 (800x600)

     

    At this point, you can use an immersion blender to puree the soup. I don't have an immersion blender, so I just pureed it in batches using my Vitamix. Works just as well!

     

    DSCN3484 (800x600)

     

    Now you could eat your soup up at this point and it would be delicious. But I felt it needed something extra... So I took a couple small pieces of French bread, toasted them in the oven with butter, then placed them on top of a bowl of soup. To that, I added a bit of shredded sharp cheddar that I found at Grocery Outlet and finished it all under the broiler for about a minute.

    If you go this route, make sure to use a broiler-safe bowl and set it on a baking sheet to easily move it in and out of the oven.

     

    DSCN3490 (800x600)

     

    This soup was very good, and I do think the toast on top made it perfect comfort food! Best of all, this recipe will yield you lots of soup - easily enough to feed 6 or 8 people or leave leftovers for a smaller family.

    Like this post? You might want to read the others in this series:

    Angela Russell blogs at The Coupon Project, a site that encourages families to live well for less. She lives in Tacoma, Washington with her firefighter husband and two small kids. In her spare time, she likes to read, garden, and has recently taken up canning.

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  • Start Baking!

    As if commissioned by Santa Claus himself, today is National Bake Cookies Day! It's the perfect excuse to get out your favorite holiday cookie recipes and make a mess of your kitchen. And be sure to double the recipes so you'll have plenty to share with friends and family. Before you get started, nibble on these quick tips.

     

    Holiday Baking

    Stock up on staples. You don't want to be caught mid-mixing without those simple ingredients. Look for great deals at your local Grocery Outlet store, and stock up on the baking basics - like flour, sugar, brown sugar, vanilla extract, chocolate chips. Keep chocolate chips in the freezer to maintain freshness.

    Mix in a holiday flavor. For a fun holiday twist, substitute traditional ingredients for holiday-inspired ingredients. Try adding crushed candy canes for a peppermint topping, or try this Egg Nog Cookie recipe.

    Pretty packages. If you feel inspired to share your sweet treats, wrap them up in a unique way. A large mason jar is a perfect way to show-off what's inside – and they can reuse the jar.

    Now it's time to throw on that apron, cue the holiday music and start baking!

    Happy Holideals from Grocery Outlet!

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  • Breaking Out of the Dinner Rut: Greek-Style Turkey Burgers


     Guest Post from The Coupon Project

     

    When you get in a dinner rut of making the same meals over and over, one easy way to change things up is to simply reinvent one of those meals! For today's recipe, I thought I'd take a classic go-to dinner, hamburgers, and do a little something different with it drawing inspiration from the aisles of my local Grocery Outlet.

     

    DSCN2452 (800x600)

     

    I found this 3-lb chub of Jennie-O Fresh Ground Turkey Meat priced at $5.99 at my Grocery Outlet - that works out to just $1.99 per pound!

     

    DSCN2490 (800x600)

     

    Grocery Outlet always has amazing cheeses at ridiculously low prices, including Feta. That's when I got the idea to make Greek-style turkey burgers! I picked up some additional ingredients I thought would work well with this plan including Kalamata olives, sun dried tomatoes, and fresh cucumbers. Here's what you'll need:
    • 1 lb Ground Turkey
    • ¼ cup chopped Kalamata olives
    • ¼ cup crumbled Feta cheese
    • ¼ cup sun-dried tomatoes
    • 1 tsp minced garlic (about one clove)
    • ¼ tsp dried oregano
    • Salt & pepper, to taste
    • Lettuce, tomato, cucumber, Greek-style dressing - to top your burger
    • Hamburger buns

    DSCN2497 (800x600)

     

    Start by mixing the olives, sun dried tomatoes, Feta, garlic, salt, pepper and oregano in a deep bowl.

     

    DSCN2499 (600x800)

     

    Next, work in the turkey meat and press into patties using wax paper. Fry them up in a little olive oil in a skillet.

     

    DSCN2502 (800x631)

     

    Once your turkey meat is cooked thoroughly, it's time to build your burger! There are so many ideas here, but I opted for lots of fresh veggies like spinach, tomatoes, and cucumbers - all from my Grocery Outlet! I also happened to have a Greek style dressing on hand so I used that in place of mayonnaise. Delicious! I hope today's recipe has given you some inspiration to break the dinner rut by making some simple tweaks to a meal you regularly make.

     

    Download a PDF of this recipe here: Greek-Style Turkey Burgers

     

    Like this post? You might want to read the others in this series:

    Make sure to come back next month for another fun installment!

    Angela Russell blogs at The Coupon Project, a site that encourages families to live well for less. She lives in Tacoma, Washington with her firefighter husband and two small kids. In her spare time, she likes to read, garden, and has recently taken up canning.

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  • A Cornucopia of Thanksgiving Goodness and our $3 Thanksgiving Menu

    Thanksgiving week is here! It's our favorite holiday at Grocery Outlet and we want to help folks embrace the cornucopia of Thanksgiving goodness - food, family, football and gratitude!

    Let's start with gratitude. We are thankful for you, our customers, for your loyalty. We are thankful for each Grocery Outlet Owner/Operator for working hard every day to help families put food on their tables. And we are thankful for our team of smart people that help score amazing deals on name brands we all love, so we can pass the savings along to our customers. Yes, we are feeling the Thanksgiving love!

     

    Thanksgiving

    And now onto the food. We asked one of our favorite food bloggers, Amy Sherman of Cooking with Amy, to develop a traditional Thanksgiving menu with all the trimmings. We're not talking about those elaborate menus with complicated recipes and expensive ingredients that you'll find in the glossy magazines. Amy's mission was to keep the recipes simple and to use ingredients from Grocery Outlet so it will cost less than $3 per person. That's Thanksgiving dinner - and dessert - for less than a latte!

    You can find the menu, recipes and print the complete shopping list here: Download a PDF

    Happy Holideals from Grocery Outlet!

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  • What To Do With All Those Leftovers

    After the big holiday meal, you'll have a lot of turkey and trimmings left over.  Here are some great recipes from Amy Sherman, of Cooking with Amy, to use up your leftovers in new delicious meals.

     

    To download a PDF of these recipes, click here: Leftovers Recipes


     
    Turkey Pot PieTurkey Pot Pies
    Serves 6

    1/4 cup butter
    1 large onion, diced
    3 carrots, chopped, about 1 cup
    1/2 cup flour
    2 cups turkey or chicken broth
    1 cup milk
    2 cups leftover turkey, diced
    1 cup frozen peas
    6 biscuits, 1 pkg ready-to-bake biscuits

     

    Preheat the oven to 400°F. In a large heavy skillet or saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and carrots, and cook until soft and golden. Sprinkle in the flour and cook for an additional minute, then whisk in the stock vigorously to avoid any lumps.

     

    Whisk in the milk and bring to a simmer, then turn the heat to low and cook until thick but still saucy, stirring often, for 5 - 10 minutes. Stir in the turkey and peas, then season to taste with salt and pepper.  Arrange six ramekins on a baking sheet. Spoon the filling into the ramekins. Roll out the biscuits to fit the top of the pot pies and cover each ramekin.  Bake until the crust is golden and the filling is bubbling, about 20 minutes.

     

    Turkey Cranberry Melts
    Serves 4

    3 tablespoons butter, room temperature
    8 slices whole wheat sandwich bread
    1/2 cup cranberry sauce
    4 turkey slices, about 8 ounces
    8 thin slices cheddar, colby or jack cheese, about 4 ounces

     

    Spread butter on one side of each slice of bread. Place four slices, buttered side down, on work surface and spread unbuttered side with cranberry sauce. Top with turkey, cheese and remaining bread (buttered side up).
    Heat a nonstick skillet or griddle over medium-low heat. Add sandwiches and cook for about 3 to 5 minutes per side, or until bread is golden brown and cheese is melted.

     


    Curried Turkey Rice Soup
    Serves 4

    Broth
    1 turkey carcass, broken into pieces 12 cups water (or enough to cover the carcass)
    1 onion, peeled and cut in quarters
    1 stalk celery, cut in quarters
    2 carrots, cut in quarters
    1 teaspoon salt

    Soup
    1 teaspoon oil 1 onion, diced
    1 apple, peeled and diced  1 carrot, diced  1 stalk celery, diced  1 teaspoon curry powder 4 cups turkey or chicken broth
    1/3 cup rice  1 cups cooked turkey, diced

    Broth
    Combine turkey, water, onions, celery, carrots and salt in a large pot. Bring the stock to a boil, then lower the heat and cover. Simmer for 1 1/2 hours. Remove lid and simmer for another 30 minutes. Strain the stock, removing the bones and vegetables and skim off the fat.

     

    Soup
    Heat a soup pot and add a teaspoon of oil. Add the onion, apple, carrot and celery and sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Cook for 5 minutes of until vegetables are softened. Add the curry and stir. Add 4 cups broth and rice and bring to a boil. Lower the heat, to a simmer and cover, cook until the rice is tender. Transfer 2 cups of soup the blender and blend until smooth. Return to pot, add the turkey and heat through. Serve right away or store in the refrigerator for 3 - 4 days, in the freezer for 2 months.

     


    Split Pea and Ham Soup
    Serves 6

    1 Tablespoon oil
    1 medium onion, chopped
    1 teaspoon salt
    3 carrots, diced carrots
    1 stalk celery, diced
    Bones from the baked ham
    1 pound dried split green peas
    8 cups water
    1 cup leftover baked ham, chopped

    Heat 4-quart stockpot on medium heat, add oil. Add the onions and salt and cook until the onions are translucent, 5 minutes.
    Add the carrots, celery, ham bones, and 1/2 pound of the split peas. Add 8 cups of water, bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer uncovered for 40 minutes. Skim off the foam while cooking.
    Add the remaining split peas, cover and continue to simmer for another 20 minutes, or until all the peas are soft.  Remove the bones and add the ham. Cook for another 5 minutes, then season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve right away or store in the refrigerator for 4 days or the freezer for up to two months.
     

     

    Grilled Ham, Pear & Cheese SandwichesHam Grilled Cheese
    Serves 4


    3 Tablespoons butter, room temperature
    8 slices sourdough or white sandwich bread  Dijon mustard 8 thin slices cheddar, colby or jack cheese, about 4 ounces
    1 small pear, peeled, cored and sliced
    4 ham slices, about 8 ounces  

     

    Spread butter on one side of each slice of bread. Place four slices, buttered side down, on work surface and spread with mustard, then top with cheese, ham and pear slices, and remaining bread (buttered side up).

     

    Heat a nonstick skillet or griddle over medium-low heat. Add sandwiches and cook for about 3 to 5 minutes per side, or until bread is golden brown and cheese is melted.
     
     
    Ham Breakfast Strata
    Serves 6 to 8

    Cooking spray
    10 eggs
    2 cups whole milk
    1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
    6 cups sandwich style bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
    12 ounces leftover baked ham, diced
    8 ounces colby, cheddar or jack cheese, thinly sliced or shredded

    Spray a 2 - 2 1/2 quart baking dish. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk and mustard.
    Place half of the bread in the bottom of a baking dish. Top with the ham and half the cheese. Repeat with a second layer of bread, pressing down as necessary to fit in the baking pan.
    Carefully pour the egg mixture over into the bread and top with the remaining cheese. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
    Preheat the oven to 350° F. Remove strata from the refrigerator and let come to room temperature for 15 minutes. Bake the strata, uncovered, until puffed and lightly golden brown, about 1 hour. Let rest for 10 minutes before serving.


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  • Breaking Out of the Dinner Rut: Apple, Bacon & Cheddar Grilled Cheese


     Guest Post from The Coupon Project

     

    When the chilly fall weather hits, many of us like to think about comforting foods like chili, stews, or that old standby - grilled cheese and tomato soup! Today I wanted to share a very simple way you could change up that plain ol' grilled cheese into something deliciously different. Here's what you'll need:
    • Bread
    • A few slices of cooked bacon
    • Sliced apples, such as Granny Smith
    • Good quality cheese - I am using cheddar
    • Butter, softened

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    I couldn't help but notice this Hickory Smoked Thick Cut Bacon at my Grocery Outlet store last week... it was only $4.99 and elsewhere you'd pay over $12! I thought it'd be the perfect ingredient to add to my new and improved grilled cheese!

     

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    The second fun ingredient for today's recipe: apples! My Grocery Outlet store was selling a bag of Fujis and Galas for just $1.50, but I opted for the tart Granny Smiths for a couple bucks more. These apples are on the small side, perfect for kids' lunches or recipes like today's, where you just need a few small slices.

     

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    There's no reason to go with a plain old cheese slices when you're shopping at Grocery Outlet! They have so many delicious cheeses at low prices to choose from. I opted for a sharp yellow cheddar, but I also think a Swiss cheese would work excellent with today's recipe.

     

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    I opted for a classic, old fashioned white bread and spread plenty of softened butter on.

     

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    Now, if you like a good mustard or maybe a flavored mayo, you could also consider adding that at this point. I'm not a huge condiment gal, so I kept this pretty straight-forward and skipped adding mayo or mustard and went straight for the apples.

     

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    Next, I layered on the cheese and crisped bacon. Yum!

     

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    From here, just cook up your sandwich in a skillet. I think the key to making a perfect grilled cheese is lots of butter, and lots of time. Keep it at a medium heat and let the bread brown slowly, giving the cheese time to melt. 

    The next time you're in a rut with your dinner, one idea would be to try changing up the ingredients or preparation a bit. And make sure to check out your local Grocery Outlet store for great ingredient ideas, too!

    To download this recipe in a PDF, click here: Download PDF

     Like this post? You might want to read the others in this series:

    Make sure to come back next month for another fun installment!

    Angela Russell blogs at The Coupon Project, a site that encourages families to live well for less. She lives in Tacoma, Washington with her firefighter husband and two small kids. In her spare time, she likes to read, garden, and has recently taken up canning.

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  • Breaking Out of the Dinner Rut: Sausage & Pepper Mac 'n Cheese


     Guest Post from The Coupon Project

     

    At a freezer meal swap I participated in recently, my good friend Haley brought this delicious homemade macaroni and cheese casserole to share. (You might remember Haley from this video we were in for the Grocery Outlet YouTube channel a few months ago!) Unlike just plain old cheese and noodles, hers had chicken sausage, vegetables, and a breadcrumb topping. It was perfect comfort food!

    I loved the idea of elevating an old standby dinner - macaroni and cheese - into something a bit heartier. Talk about a perfect way to get out of a dinner rut! Taking inspiration from Haley's dish, I headed to my local Grocery Outlet to see what I could find to make something similar.

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    I found these packages of Beeman Gourmet Sausages priced at just $2.99! Elsewhere, you could expect to pay up to $5.99 for the same product. I decided to select the Apple and Gouda Cheese variety. We've had it before and it's delicious!

     

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    I couldn't help but notice these beautiful peppers for just $0.50 each! This is a great deal on colored peppers - they can often be as much as $1.50 at other grocery stores (and sometimes more.).

     

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    Finally, the pasta. I found this package of rotini for just $0.89. Feel free to use whatever pasta you want for this recipe; it certainly does not have to be elbow macaroni.

    Start by preparing your bag of 1-lb pasta according to package directions. Veer towards cooking it "al dente" as you'll be baking it up in the oven a bit. While the pasta is cooking, you can begin to cook up the other components of this casserole.

     

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    I sliced up all four chicken sausages (12 oz) and browned them lightly in a skillet with a little bit of olive oil.

     

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    Next, I added in a diced red pepper and continued cooking for another minute or so, just until soft. Turn off heat and set aside.

     

    cheesesauce

    Now it's time to make your cheese sauce. Gather 1 cup of warm milk and 2 cups of shredded cheese (I chose 1 cup of sharp cheddar and 1 cup of Colby Jack, but you could vary this based on your preferences). Start by melting ¼ cup of butter (that's ½ a stick) over medium heat. Once it's melted, whisk in 2 tablespoons of flour. The mixture will thicken and bubble pretty quickly, so make sure to keep whisking - don't let it burn! Once you see the bubbles form, begin to drop in cheese shreds by handful and alternate with adding the milk, whisking constantly, until it's all incorporated. Finally, add a pinch of salt. At the end you should have a delicious, silky smooth cheese sauce!

    Turn off the heat, and set aside. If you've timed everything right, your pasta should be just about done now. Go ahead and drain it.

     

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    As you might have guessed, you're going to mix the pasta, cheese sauce, and sausage all together. Pour into a lightly-greased casserole dish. Sprinkle ½ cup breadcrumbs and drizzle with 2 tablespoons melted butter. Bake in a 350º oven for 15-20 minutes until set.

     

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    Well, how was it? I have to tell you that of all the dinners I've featured here on the Bargainista Blog, this is hands down my favorite! It's hearty fall comfort food at it's finest, but it's still quick and easy to make. I spent a total of $8.39 preparing this dish thanks to Grocery Outlet, so it's also friendly on the budget.

    A special thank you also to my friend Haley for the idea!  Download the PDF of this recipe here: Recipe Card.

    Like this post? You might want to read the others in this series:

    Make sure to come back next month for another fun installment!

    Angela Russell blogs at The Coupon Project, a site that encourages families to live well for less. She lives in Tacoma, Washington with her firefighter husband and two small kids. In her spare time, she likes to read, garden, and has recently taken up canning.

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  • Breaking Out of the Dinner Rut: Bacon & Egg Casserole with Citrus Smoothies


     Guest Post from The Coupon Project

     

    Have you ever had cereal for dinner? I'm not going to lie - I've done it before. I think we can all relate to those crazy days where the thought of digging through recipes and cooking is too much to think about. Today I'd like to share with you an easy recipe that's inspired by breakfast, but more substantial than a bowl of Toasted O's or Fruity Rings. While you can definitely enjoy it for breakfast, it's a go-to dinner recipe in my house because of how quick it can be prepared and requires only a few ingredients.

     

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    For this recipe, you'll need a pound of ground breakfast sausage or bacon. I found this Aberdeen Farms Hardwood Smoked Sliced Bacon on sale for $2.99 at my Grocery Outlet. The beauty of shopping at Grocery Outlet is that you never know exactly what you'll find! Feel free to tweak today's recipe with whatever yummy looking sausage or bacon you find at your store.

     

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    Start by preheating your oven to 350º. Cook your bacon or sausage and drain. While it's cooking, tear up four pieces of bread and sprinkle them on the bottom of a casserole dish. I used wheat, but white works great too. I prefer using a "fluffier" type bread in this recipe - nothing too dense or heavy.

     

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    Crumble your bacon or sausage and put it on top of the bread pieces.

     

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    Next, top with 2 cups of grated cheese. I like using a medium cheddar.

     

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    Whisk six eggs with 2 cups of milk together and season with fresh ground pepper. I omit salt because there is plenty in the bacon!

     

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    Pour the egg mixture on top of the casserole and bake in the oven between 20-30 minutes, when eggs are set.

     

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    This is such a delicious, hearty casserole!

     

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    I like to serve this dish with some sort of fruit or fruit dish. While at Grocery Outlet, I noticed they had pineapple Chobani Greek Yogurt at my store for just $1.99. I decided to pick some up along with a bag of frozen mango for $3.99 to make a tropical smoothie.

     

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    For the smoothie, I simply combined 1/2 cup of the Greek yogurt, 1 cup frozen mango and 1 cup orange juice. To kick it up a bit, you could add a nice handful of organic spinach (which yes, they also carry at Grocery Outlet!).

     

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    So there you have it: breakfast for dinner that's NOT a bowl of cereal!

     

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    The next time you're at your local Grocery Outlet store, see what fun and frugal ingredients you can find to spice up your dinner table!  Download the recipe here.

     

    Like this post? You might want to read the others in this series:
    Make sure to come back next month for another fun installment! Angela Russell blogs at The Coupon Project, a site that encourages families to live well for less. She lives in Tacoma, Washington with her firefighter husband and two small kids. In her spare time, she likes to read, garden, and has recently taken up canning.

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