As a kid, when my mom would mention the word spaghetti, I would always want to know what she was cooking for me, because I was not about to eat spaghetti. Well, fast forward several years and now my kids are asking for my spaghetti on a regular basis.

I shared with my co-workers last week that they boys were asking for more spaghetti, so they all asked for the recipe. So, I’ll share with everyone else too, but please understand, I make this now without measuring anything. So just play around with it and make it work for you.

Spaghetti Sauce
28oz can of diced petite tomatoes
8oz can of Tomato sauce
6oz can of Tomato paste
1 onion diced chopped that has been sauteed
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (I don’t actually measure, I just eye ball it)
1 pinch of sugar
5 – 10 dashes of Tabasco
1 pound of 80/20 hamburger or a mixture of ground hamburger or ground turkey.
salt & pepper
simmer for 2 hours and there you go.

Often times I will bake some homemade bread to go along with this meal, but the great thing with this dish is that you’ll get enough left overs for several meals. Low cost and great flavor. 2 great things about a good meal.

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Here is an easy Orange Chicken Recipe that I found a few weeks ago and have fallen in love with it.

What You’ll Need:

4 – 5 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts, thawed
3/4 cup Smuckers Sweet Orange Marmalade
3/4 cup of Sweet Baby Ray’s Original BBQ Sauce {it’s SO good!} -> I used the Weber’s Buzz’N Honey BBQ Sauce
2 tbsp. Soy Sauce

What You’ll Do:

Cook chicken in crockpot on high for 3 hours {covered}
After 3 hours, drain juices from crockpot
Mix together bbq sauce, orange marmalade, and soy sauce
Pour mixture over chicken, and cook on high for 30 more minutes {covered}

View the entire recipe and instructions here.

But here is the best part, not only is this Orange Chicken recipe easy to make, it is really inexpensive. It is so good, that I might not order from the local Chinese restaurant anymore. Seriously, the chicken is cooked perfectly and it is not fried. I served this for my wife the other night and she could not stop talking about how great that it tasted. She even said that she could not order Orange Chicken at a restaurant again, after eating this meal.

I’ve really been focusing on making easy meals that 1) I can eat throughout the week, but 2) that I can use ingredients in multiple recipes. So, I’ve basically figured that to make this meal, it costs me about $8.00 for 4 pieces of chicken or $2.00 a serving, however you want to look at. But, in reality, that $2.00 a serving, is really spread out over several meals. And where can you really eat a good and healthly meal for $2.00 a server?

Please Note: I use the Weber’s Buzz’N Honey BBQ Sauce for another recipe, so that cost is split into 2 meals. The Orange Marmalade can be used on biscuits and who doesn’t love a homemade biscuit on a Saturday morning?

So, as you make these recipes, think about your ingredients and what you can use in other things.  Cook smart, eat better and save money.

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One of my resolutions for the year, is to do a 52 Week Challenge and trying 1 new recipe a week.  I am trying to make a new recipe each week and not only make 1 new recipe each week, but also cook enough for a few additional meals for left overs.

Follow my journey with these recipes here.



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Here are a few of our favorite recipes.

BBQ Pork Tenderloin
1 Pork Tenderloin – lightly seasoned with salt & pepper
1/2 Bottle of your favorite BBQ Sauce
8 Hours in the crock pot

1 Pork Tenderloin – lightly seasoned with salt & pepper
1/2 cup of water
1/2 bottle of POMEGRANATE CHIPOTLE SAUCE from Tastefully Simple
5 hours in the crock pot

2 1/2 lb brisket
6 hours on the smoker on 200 degrees
2 hours on each side, then for the last 2 hours, wrap the brisket in aluminum foil and place back on the smoker.

Grilled London Broil
1 London Broil
Marinate overnight – I use a 1/2 of bottle of Fat & Juicy Bloody Mary Mix
Grill for 8 minutes on high
Then flip and reduce heat to medium for 5 minutes.

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With trying to keep with the plan of saving money, we have been trying to cook more meals for our nightly dinner and that we can use for multiple meals. So a lot of times, we use the crock pot. Our favorite recipe and one of the easiest recipes and is great for left overs:

BBQ Pork Tenderloin
1 – Pork Tenderloin & cover it with your favorite BBQ Sauce. Then place in the crock pot for 8 hours and serve. It is easy and makes 2 – 3 meals.

Pork Shoulder
1 – Pork Shoulder & cover it with vinegar, crushed red peppers, and water. Place in the crock pot for 8 hours and serve. Makes 4 meals.

1 –  2 1/2 lbs Brisket – smoke for 6 hours on the smoker at 200 degrees

1 – Package of Ground Turkey, pasta of your choice and homemade tomato sauce. (I add crushed red peppers as well) – This will provide at least 2 left over meals.

Hot Sausage with Penne Pasta
1 – package of hot sausage, cut into small pieces and fry. Boil Pene pasta until done, strain and place back into the pot. Once the hot sausage is finished, pour homemade tomato sauce over the sausage and fry for 10 minutes. – This will provide at least 2 left over meals.

Here are a few websites that I have found to have great recipes:

Food Network
My Recipes
Grilling and Beer

I hope that you’ll be able to find some good recipes that will help you and your family not only prepare healthy meals, but meals that will save you money. And if you have other sites that you visit for recipes, please share.


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