Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Red Plum and Smart Source Recipe Inspirations-7/11

To skip my commentary, scroll down to the recipes written in bold.

If you are like me, you might feel disappointed with this Sunday's coupon inserts. Each week I learn new things about the couponing game. Lesson learned-not every insert has a ton of food coupons that you will actually use!

I read an article recently about the top US cities for couponing. Apparently there are pockets of the country which have a larger number of Penny Pinchers than others. In the article, research shows that those who coupon actually spend $4 more per month than their non-coupon counterparts. What? So what's a tight wad to do? After all, if my only option for using coupons is to buy hearing aid batteries and Pepcid AC, what's the point?

This is where the bigger coupon lesson comes into play: saving money using coupons requires long term planning and organization. Each week, cut out any coupon you think you might use, either that week, or in the future. Some weeks, you'll cut out a lot. Some weeks, you'll find the "Refrigerated" tab is bursting at it's seams in the mini-expandable file, while all other categories are almost empty. Don't lose heart!

The trick comes from watching weekly sales. I may feel like I can't make any great meals based off of what's available from the Sunday paper's Red Plum and Smart Source insert. Put I'm thinking too small. I do most of my shopping at Hy-Vee and Aldi, so I wait until Wednesday to plan my weekly menu because Wednesday is when Hy-Vee changes their specials. There may be a sale for something that I have a coupon for from 3 weeks ago! Save those coupons! Sure, you may be well stocked on Yoplait yogurt cups right now, but in 3 weeks, you may not. The coupon will most likely still be usable,  and there may be a store sale for that yogurt. I'll say it again: Save those coupons!

Now, all that to say, some of you are part Penny Pinchers and part Yuppies.  I'll call this breed Pinchies. You enjoy the thrill of getting a discount, but you may have the means to pay for it at full price anyways, and some weeks all you have time for is the actual coupon clipping itself. You are the kind of person that can head to the store with a fistfull of coupons, and no real menu. That's ok! If this is you, then here is my recommendation for a few recipe ideas for this week:

**Note: All coupons mentioned below are from the 7/11/2010 Red Plum or Smart Source insert in your local  Sunday paper.

Going to a party?
If you are hosting a party, or headed to one and need a dish to bring, make the classic Little Smokies appetizer. Heat up some sausage links in a crock pot and drizzle a good amount of your favorite bar-b-q sauce. This week there is a coupon for $.55 off any 1 package off Hillshire Farm Smoked Sausage links.   

From Scratch Items
For some reason, there is a fair amount of butter coupons this week. I also found a coupon for $.45 off any Daisy Cottage Cheese tub. Butter and cottage cheese. Butter and cottage cheese. What can you do with butter and cottage cheese?

Cottage Cheese Bread (Bread Machine recipe)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup cottage cheese
  • 2 tablespoons margarine
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups bread flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
Add the ingredients to your bread machine in the order suggested by the manufacturer, and start. You can use up to 1/2 cup more bread flour if the dough seems too sticky.  

Cottage Cheese Pancakes 
  • 1 cup cottage cheese
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • cooking spray 
Combine cottage cheese, flour, oil, and eggs in a large bowl Heat a large skillet over medium heat, and coat with cooking spray. Pour 1/3 cupfuls of batter onto the skillet, and cook until bubbles appear on the surface. Flip with a spatula, and cook until browned on the other side. 

Amazing what you can do with cottage cheese! The pancakes could be a meal idea-every kid loves it when Mom says that it's "Breakfast for dinner" night!

Yogurt Parfaits 
Use one of the many Yoplait yogurt coupons to make a yummy parfait. Just add blueberries and granola, or your choice of fruit.

Main dish 
Use the HIllshire farm $.55 off any 1 package of Deli Select Hearty Slices Lunchmeat for this recipe:

Tortellini and Ham in Cream Sauce
  • 2 (9 ounce) packages refrigerated cheese tortellini
  • 1/3 cup butter or margarine
  • 1 cup cubed fully cooked ham (cut deli meat into slices-works the same!)
  • 1 3/4 cups whipping cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
  • Shredded Parmesan cheese
  • Dash of sugar
  • Dash of garlic salt/parsley combination
Drain tortellini and put back in pot. Stir in sliced ham, cream, butter, Parmesan cheese, sugar and garlic mixture; heat through. 
This would make it a heavy carb meal, but, you can also serve Rhodes Warm-N-Serve rolls. The coupon from this weeks insert is for $1 off.
Tomorrow I'll be posting recipe ideas inspired by Hy-Vee deals and coupon match ups. If I'm feeling brave, I might attempt another store. Any suggestions? What stores are your area that you need help matching up coupons with good recipes?

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