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What’s For Dinner? June 9

Psst, I make money on some of the links in this post at no cost to you. It keeps the lights on around here.

Man, oh man. What a week. Work was crazy for both of us, but luckily, our meals were pretty on point!

Freezer meals save my butt more than I care to admit on this blog. I use MyFreezEasy to snag freezable recipes and shopping lists.

Here’s what we ate this week!

Breakfast: Breakfast tacos. The breakfast of frugal champions! The beans were homemade and delicious. Mr. Picky Pincher cooks the beans ahead of time and freezes them for occasions such as these.


Lunch: A “whatever” plate. I don’t remember what we had for Sunday dinner, but it didn’t make any leftovers for lunch today. I didn’t feel like microwaving anything, so I made what I’m now calling a “whatever” plate.

It had blueberries, feta cheese, walnuts, and salami on it, and that was it. It’s really just a glorified snack plate, but it looked fancy, so I’m counting it as a proper meal.

Gettin’ classy up in hurr.

Dinner: Chicken biryani. This was a recipe I found in a library book months ago. I was desperate to try new recipes, so I bravely whipped this one out. I’m always scared to cook Indian-style food because I’m not familiar with it, but this was pretty darn good!

chicken biryani

It needed a touch more garam masala seasoning (which we bought in bulk), but we’ll definitely add this sucker to our meal rotation. It wasn’t that hard to cook and, as a bonus, it made extra portions for freezing.



Breakfast: Goat cheese and leek muffins. I baked these muffins last weekend at Mr. Picky Pincher’s request for savory baked goods. I reheated mine in the microwave and they were pretty great! I love anything with cheese, and an excuse to eat big clods of it as a “meal” is almost too good to be true.

goat cheese leek muffins


Lunch: Leftover chicken biryani. Even tastier the second day!

Dinner: Cornbread taco bake. This was another recipe I got from a library cookbook. I’ll be honest: I thought this was going to be gross. In fact, I was terrified to cook every new item on the menu this week. It’s not a big deal if we have a flop, but I do feel disappointed if something turns out to be inedible.

cornbread taco bake

Anyhoo, this was a pleasant surprise! I put together this dinner in under 30 minutes (take that, Rachel Ray) and it was wonderful! It was very filling and made a few extra portions for freezing.

cornbread taco bake

This is what the cornbread taco bake looks like before cutting into it.

Woop woop!

Breakfast: Yogurt with granola and fruit. In an effort to be healthy-ish, we had my homemade yogurt for breakfast. Sounds good, right?


The granola I made last weekend looked a little “well done” but I thought it was still edible. It was not edible, my friends. It took one bite into a burnt chunk of oats for me to be over this. I ate the yogurt and scraped off the granola.

Next time I’ll watch my granola better when it’s baking. Grumble grumble.

Lunch: Leftover taco bake.

Dinner: Chicken waldorf pitas. This was yet another recipe I unearthed from the dusty recipe library that is my phone.

I was really nervous about this new recipe, y’all. The second I saw it called for Italian dressing and curry powder, I considered just grabbing a pizza. But I persevered (mostly out of curiosity). I thought we were going to have a peanut butter Rotel chicken situation on our hands again.

And sorry, I thought I had a picture of this, but I don’t. Oopsies.

This mixture didn’t require any cooking, which was nice. We served the chicken waldorf salad on homemade pita bread, which I made earlier this week and froze.

I’m not going to lie: it was weird. At first we didn’t know what to think of this sweet, curried, chicken-y, nutty thing, but in the end we decided it was awesome. It doesn’t freeze well, though, since it has yogurt and avocado in it.

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Breakfast: Tacos. This time I made tacos with a pre-made breakfast taco mixture I cooked a few months ago. It has rice, beans, breakfast sausage, and peppers in it. It’s a nice change of pace from bean and cheese burritos.

Lunch: Leftover chicken waldorf pitas.

Funny story, y’all. I spent my morning in the downtown area of our city. My company is attending an event there in a few weeks and I was sent to scope out sites for a geocaching activity we’re hosting (it’s gonna be so cool!). Anyhoo, that meant I spent two hours wandering the downtown area.


It was calling to me…

I went into the mall and found a POKEMON STORE. It took everything in me not to stop inside, but I was on company time. So tempted. Agh.

I was also tempted to buy a greasy lunch as a “reward” for having such a busy, exhausting day at work (it’s 100 degrees outside, btw). But! I was very good and reminded myself that I didn’t “deserve” a treat for doing my job. I had my leftover chicken waldorf pita like a good little Pincher.

Dinner: Chikfila. I’m really glad I didn’t pick up a greasy lunch, because we got Chikfila for dinner. It was a weak moment, honestly. It was Mr. Picky Pincher’s night to cook, but he had to run a few errands, which would have meant dinner at 7:30. Not fun. So he got Chikfila for dinner and it was heavenly. πŸ™‚


Breakfast: Waffles. We finished off Mr. Picky Pincher’s homemade buttermilk waffles. Today I topped mine with maple syrup and strawberries. Yum!

wafflesLunch: Frozen chicken biryani. We didn’t have leftovers, so I had a meal from our freezer stock.

Dinner: Carnitas tacos. This was the meal Mr. Picky Pincher meant to cook on Thursday. He slow-cooked a pork shoulder all day on Wednesday until it fell off the bone. We’ll get the pulled pork crispy under the broiler and serve it on tortillas with home-grown cilantro and salsa. So tasty!!

In case you haven’t noticed, we love our tacos. πŸ˜‰


Let’s see what we spent this week!

On sale: $8.27

Coupons: $5.24

TOTAL: $111.55



We normally try to come in around $80 for a week of groceries. But I’m not too mad about this. The reason our bill was higher is extra meat purchases. We got two whole chickens and one giant pork shoulder.

The toughie here is that we don’t eat all of this meat in one week. We’ll prepare it or cook it and then freeze it for later. So, although we spent $30-ish more this week, it will feed us beyond this week.

I hope that next week we can keep our total around $80, but we’ll see what happens. πŸ™‚

Otherwise, I’m EXTREMELY pleased with the risks we took this week. I think I cooked, like, three new meals that all worked out. That’s never happened before, y’all! Usually at least one sucks.

As far as next week, I hope that we can continue eating at home. For the past two weeks we’ve gotten dinner out once a week. That’s okay, but I know we could do better by eating at home instead.

Oh, I did a thing

Heyyy, remember when I said I filmed a video? I FINALLY finished the video and it’s up on YouTube. I did a 10-minute(ish) tutorial on how to make my homemade yeast rolls.

Sorry this took so long y’all! The challenge was a) finding time to edit the film, b) technical BS, and c) buying a quality video editor (I got Wondershare Filmora if you’re curious). It’s definitely not a perfect video, but I learned a lot throughout the filming and editing.

Hopefully I can do more videos to share with y’all. Do any of you have video requests? I’ve already got macarons on there. πŸ˜‰

We want to know: How did you save money this week?

22 comments on “What’s For Dinner? June 9

  1. The video was really good! I think the cutting of the dough into a bunch of squares took a long time and could have been edited more, but I make bread so maybe someone unfamiliar with the process would have appreciated the step-by-step.

    You should definitely do more videos!! I can’t think of anything specific, other than I’d love a video-version of your “what’s for dinner” post.

    1. Thanks! Oh man, I know. I rushed through the editing and found eleventy-billion things I wanted to change after I published it, of course. Grah! Oooh, thanks for the suggestion on the videos! Now that I have a good software it should be a lot easier. πŸ™‚

  2. Just watched your video! So that is what you sound like, haha. πŸ˜› Those rolls really look easy to bake!

    Well, today I celebrated my birthday and my mom bought me lunch and dessert! So today wasn’t so frugal… πŸ˜› But I did hit up a 50% off everything Cancer Society thrift store sale! I got the cloth napkin holders I have been wanting for $2.50 each instead of $5.00 and found some other pretty napkin holders as well! It’s as if the magic sky daddy was saying to me, “Marissa, you had your eyes on these napkin holders for a while now and today is your day to get them because I left them just for you on your birthday! <3" I was seriously surprised they were still there because of all of the poeple who came out for the 50% everything sale. o .o I guess I got lucky! <3

    I also got a certificate from a friend for a free peticure! I can't wait to go in and be pampered. <3 I only have to take care of the tip, but that is okay. <3 I also got a nail buffer from Amazon and shined my finger nails up. πŸ˜€ They look so beautiful now, so I am happy about that. <3

    Have a beautiful weekend! ^ o^

    1. Happy Birthday, Marissa! Yesterday was my birthday too. My parents took me out for lunch too (day off, woohoo) and then we went for homemade Amish ice cream. Why do birthdays always involve so much food? πŸ˜‹

      1. Happy Birthday, Bobi! I love having yummy food on special occassions like birthdays! πŸ˜€ I hope your birthday was a total blast! ^ u^

    2. Yup, it’s me lol! Happy belated birthday! I guess those napkin holders were meant to be, eh? πŸ™‚ Oooh, enjoy your pedicure too!!

  3. Very nice video Mrs. PP! Now make one of those videos a week! Haha πŸ™‚

    Those breakfast tacos look great btw…totally making me hungry!

    Oh, btw — I made a lentil-chickpea curry last week (inspired by you). It was delish for being my first try! The kids even liked it!

    1. Bahaha! I have no idea how other bloggers do both blogs and videos each week. They must have Time Turners or something because that stuff ain’t a piece of cake lol. Oooh I’m so glad the curry worked out! I love your idea of adding lentils, too! I think we actually have a jar of dried lentils that I can toss in this week’s chickpea curry. Thanks for the tip!

    1. You got it! Here’s a copy-paste of the recipe that Mr. Picky Pincher keeps in our online recipe book. Let me know how it goes!

      1 lb. pinto/black beans
      24 oz chicken stock (low sodium)
      1 T. oregano
      1 T. ground pepper
      1 T. chili powder
      1 t. cumin
      1 T. cilantro
      Β½ C. beer
      1 can rotel
      1 Sliced jalapeno
      Half onion diced
      Half bell pepper, diced
      Half bulb garlic, minced
      2 strips bacon, sliced
      Β½ small package salt pork, cubed

      Soak beans 12 hours
      Cook on high in crock pot for 6 hours
      Mash beans a few times to thicken
      Finish with fresh chopped cilantro to taste.

  4. Enjoyed your video. My yeast baking is really uneven, I knead πŸ˜€ more practice. I will be trying these when the weather cools a bit, we’re heading into a heat wave (hot for here but probably winter weather to you Texans!πŸ˜‰)

    1. Oh ho ho ho! You’re getting punny on me, Bobi! I like it. πŸ™‚ You know, the rolls might be good to cook in the heat! Sometimes I put them outside to rise instead of the oven (that just shows how hot it is here!). But, of course, there’s nothing like a warm roll when it’s cold outside. πŸ™‚

  5. I need to cook more. Looks like you’re eating pretty well, but still not using a fortune to do so. Most typically, I just buy a large tray of chicken and steamed veggies from my local Flame Broiler (it’s a teriyaki chain). I make my own brown rice, and I eat that like 3x a day. Eat out on the weekends. It saves a lot of time so I can work more. I actually come out ahead financially.

    1. I feel your pain! I still feel like I could be doing a lot more to up our food game. Sounds like you’re doing a lot of things right! As long as it works for ya. Have you priced out cooking your own chicken and veggies? I know it’s a time issue, but hey, might be worth checking out. πŸ™‚

      1. Yeah it’d be pretty big savings. I used to cook my own chicken and veggies. On Sundays, for the whole week. But since I’m working 70-80 hours a week, time is way more costly than money, relatively speaking!

        1. Oh dang, yeah I could see how picking up food would be cheaper/faster! Sorry about those work hours; yeesh.

  6. I enjoyed your video, was nice to see you in real time and hear your voice. I also enjoyed seeing Zap! Good job!!

    1. Thank you! I’m so glad people think the video is okay lol. I’ll hopefully be making more in the coming months. πŸ™‚

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