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Category: From My Kitchen

Want to save money and eat healthier?

Are you trying to get back into a fall routine and eat more meals at home? Sign up for the Eat At Home Challenge below!

Have you signed up for my FREE Eat at Home Challenge? When you sign up, I’ll send you:

  • A one-week grocery list and menu plan
  • 5 days of simple crockpot recipes and videos of me making them
  • My best tips for saving time on menu-planning and grocery shopping
  • How I eat healthier without spending a lot of prep time to do so
  • Our simple system for dealing with picky eaters

Are you interested? Sign up for the Eat at Home Challenge here.

Homemade Hot Pockets for Breakfast!

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.

If you’re looking for a unique breakfast idea that you can make ahead of time, then be sure to try these freezer-friendly homemade hot pockets!

{Psst! If you’re looking for other easy breakfast ideas, check out these quick and healthy Back to School Breakfast Recipes — perfect for busy weekday mornings! Also, if you love individual freezer meals, be sure to try these Easy Individual Mini Lasagnas and these Easy Individual Chicken Pot Pies!}

Homemade Breakfast Hot Pockets

Recipe Post by my sister, Olivia

Convenience of Individual Freezer Meals

I’ve always enjoyed the challenge of coming up with freezer-friendly recipes that can be reheated in a snap! Although I love preparing a fresh meal, the convenience of being able to pull something from the freezer at a moment’s notice can be a lifesaver!

Growing up, I liked to spoil my brothers by filling the freezer with healthy snacks, breads, and personal-sized main dishes just for them.  They loved being able to grab something before work, before school, or whenever hungry; and I loved the opportunity to come up with new recipes!

Now that I am married, I find individual freezer meals even more beneficial – especially for breakfast! It is so nice to be able to have a hearty breakfast on the table for my husband in less than five minutes.

Homemade Hot Pockets for Busy Mornings

I was super excited to recently come up with a new freezer-friendly breakfast recipe — these homemade hot pockets!

Breakfast pockets are the perfect solution for busy mornings, because they literally take just a few minutes to warm up in the microwave and can be eaten on the go.

Also, I love how versatile this recipe is. For instance, I often leave out the cheese (my husband is dairy-free), add extras to the filling (chopped spinach, sliced olives, green chiles, bacon, etc.), and use tortillas in place of the dough (like breakfast burritos). It can easily be adjusted to your liking!

These homemade hot pockets are best served with salsa or your favorite hot sauce. Scroll down to get the printable recipe!

homemade breakfast hot pockets ingredients

filling in a mixing bowl

loading up homemade hot pockets

breakfast pockets ready for the oven

plated breakfast hot pockets

Homemade Breakfast Hot Pockets on a plate

hot pocket from the freezer in foil

More Breakfast Ideas:

If you’re looking for even more breakfast ideas, try one of these!

Let us know if you try these homemade hot pockets! Also, what are some of your favorite breakfast recipes?

15 Dinners to Make When Your Cupboards Are Bare

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.

Looking for dinners to make when your cupboards are bare and money is tight? Here are some of our family’s favorite ideas. Best of all, most of these are super quick and easy ideas, too:

Meals to Make When Your Cupboards Are Bare

1. Grilled Cheese

You can use any kind of cheese and any kind of bread!

2. Eggs and Toast

This is an easy meal that even younger kids can make!

3. Loaded Baked Potatoes

Get creative with whatever you might have on hand that would work as a topping: taco meat, chili, beans, ham, bacon, cheese, broccoli, sour cream, cottage cheese, etc. You could even do chopped chicken, salsa, and cheese.

4. Any Pasta With Pasta Sauce

If you have any canned tomatoes or ground beef or onions, you can add it to the sauce. Then, serve it sprinkled with any kind of cheese you might have on hand.

5. Sandwiches

The options are pretty ended here: Peanut Butter/Jelly (or PB & honey — we love to toast the bread for a little extra something!) Egg Salad, Meat/Cheese, etc.

Tip: Did you know you can freeze PB&J sandwiches?

6. Build Your Own Taco Salad

Use whatever taco-like ingredients you have on hand: Ground beef or turkey with homemade taco seasoning, beans, lettuce, chips, tomatoes, cheese, etc.

7. Crockpot Sausage and Peppers

This is a staple at our house. If I have kielbasa in the freezer and I’ve gotten peppers on markdowns, I’ll chop up both and add some onions or potatoes or sweet potatoes (if I have them) and cook this with a little water and seasonings in the crockpot for 4-6 hours on low. You can you serve over rice or pasta (if you didn’t include potatoes).

8. Meat/Potatoes/Frozen Veggies Hash

This was a standby recipe at our family’s house growing up. If we needed a quick dinner, we’d brown some ground beef with onions, and then add some chopped potatoes and fry those until tender. Then we’d add corn or peas. I think this recipe originally came from the More With Less Cookbook.

9. Refried Beans and Cheese

We like to spoon refried beans into a baking dish and top with cheese and then heat these up in the microwave (or you can bake in the oven) until heated through and then serve with chips and salsa or spread onto tortillas to make bean and cheese burritos.

10. Breakfast For Dinner

Breakfast foods are always a quick and easy pantry meal idea, depending on what you have on hand. Pancakes, Waffles, or French Toast served with eggs and/or bacon (if you have any) and fruit. You could also do a big pan of Baked Oatmeal and top it with any fruit you have and serve it with yogurt or milk.

Tip: Have extra eggs on hand and some meat and cheese? Make these yummy Egg & Cheese Bites.

Pantry Meal Ideas From My Followers:

11. Quesadillas

Betsy said, “We have what I call refrigerator quesadillas. Tortillas, cheese and anything else leftover– chicken, ham, zucchini, corn, etc. Stick it in between tortillas and cheese and you’re pretty much set!

12. Have a Chopped Competition

One of my followers, Amanda, said that they love to play Chopped when they are trying to use up what they have on hand. (If you’re unfamiliar with it, Chopped is a TV show where contestants are given random ingredients and they have to make a recipe with those ingredients.) What a fun idea!

13. Tortilla Soup

Charity said: “I almost always have bullion, diced tomatoes, canned black beans, an onion or garlic and some veggies (typically celery, carrots and corn) and a handful of rice and crushed tortilla chips around. We’ll top it with shredded cheese.”

14. Cheater Chili

Tanya said: “I always have the ingredients for ‘Cheater Chili’ in my pantry and boxes of Jiffy cornbread mix. A can of chili beans, a can of white beans, a can of kidney beans (or whatever kind you want really) and a jar of Pace Picante sauce. Heat until hot. I add ground beef when I have it or have time, but it’s great without it too.

15. Barbecue Cups

Amanda said: “We make Barbecue Cups — ground beef with bbq sauce, place on top of raw biscuit in a muffin tin add cheese to top, bake in oven.”

What are YOUR favorite budget-friendly meals to make when money is tight?

P.S. For more ideas, check out this post on my Facebook Page.

Last Week’s $70 Grocery Budget + Menu Plan

Want to see what we bought for this week’s $70 grocery budget? I’m currently challenging myself to stick with a $70 budget for our family of five. This includes almost all of our breakfasts, lunches, snacks, and dinners + most household products (toiletries, laundry soap, etc.).

For live updates, be sure to follow my Instagram Stories. See all posts on my $70 Grocery Budget here.

I’ve been finding a LOT of random markdowns at Kroger recently, so my shopping trips this week were mostly made up of those!

Kroger Shopping Trip #1

  • Kroger Eggs — marked down to $1.29
  • Cinnamon Raisin Bread — marked down to $1.29
  • 2 cans of canned Pineapple — marked down to $0.49 each
  • JIF peanut butter — marked down to $0.99 each
  • Kettle cooked chips — marked down to $0.79
  • Kroger sour cream — $1.39
  • Deli chicken — marked down to $2.39
  • Elbow macaroni — marked down to $0.39
  • 1 bag of peppers/squash — marked down to $0.99
  • Kroger peanuts — marked down to $0.89
  • Sirloin Steak — marked down to $4.40
  • 1 bag of cucumbers — marked down to $0.99
  • Strawberries — $1.50
  • 2 cans of Kroger soup — $0.79 each
  • 1 bag of lemons — marked down to $0.99
  • Bananas — marked down to $0.39/lb. = $0.71
  • Tyson Frozen Chicken — $6.99
  • 2 cans of salmon — marked down to $1.99 each
  • Package of Kind Breakfast Bars — marked down to $0.99
  • 2 cans of green beans — marked down to $0.29 each
  • Simple Truth organic seltzer water — marked down to $0.99 each
  • 2 boxes of Rice-a-Roni — marked down to $0.49 each
  • Kroger taco seasoning — marked down to $0.19
  • Total with tax: $41.96

I was excited about the Weekend Deals at Kroger this week and am going back to hit some of the others on Monday!

Kroger Shopping Trip #2

  • Salad Kit — $1.99
  • Nature Valley Granola Bar — marked down to $0.69
  • Kroger eggs — marked down to $1.29
  • Annie’s Mac & Cheese — marked down to $0.59 each
  • Capri Sun — marked down to $0.69
  • JIF Peanut Butter — marked down to $0.89
  • 3 packages of Smithfield Bacon — $2.99 each with Weekend Deals
  • Kind bar — Free with Free Friday coupon
  • Creamed Corn — $0.99
  • Kroger Green Beans — $0.59
  • 5 Lara Bars — $0.50 each with Weekend Deals
  • Franks Red Hot Sauce — Well, I thought this was supposed to be $0.99 with the Kroger Weekend Deals but as I was typing this up, I realized that I think I actually paid $2.99 for this!! Now I’m trying to decide whether it’s worth taking back to the store. Probably not? But I kind of surprised that I didn’t catch that I overpaid for this. 🙁 I usually am really good at carefully checking everything. Here’s another good reason why you should check your receipt really thoroughly before leaving the store!
  • Lettuce — $1.79
  • Total with tax: $26.18

What We Ate This Past Week

Note: When you see the meals below, please remember this: I buy ahead often. Which means that when I find a great deal on something I know we’ll use, I buy as much as I can afford in our budget to have on hand.

This means that you aren’t going to see all of the groceries my shopping trip that I used to make all of the meals we ate.

Please also remember that I’m putting this out there and it’s not a perfectly balanced menu. This is just really what we ate — and I hope that it encourages you to see the real-ness and lack of perfection here.

Breakfasts:

  • Cereal, Toast, Oatmeal, Peanut Butter & Honey Sandwiches (Silas and Kaitlynn have been loving this for breakfast recently!), Eggs

Lunches:

  • Ham Sandwiches, Granola Bars, Yogurt, Capri Sun, Salad, Leftovers, Fruit

Snacks:

  • Cookies, Popcorn, Ice Cream, Go-Gurts, Apple Crisp, Fruit, Veggies

Dinners:

  • Sunday — Fend For Yourself
  • Monday — Slow Cooker Teriyaki Beef with Pineapple over rice, fruit
  • Tuesday — Slow Cooker Chicken Tetrazzini, green beans
  • Wednesday — Breakfast for dinner: Pancakes, sausage, fruit
  • Thursday — Barbecue Chicken, Noodles, Fruit
  • Friday — Smoked Ribs, Green Beans with bacon/garlic/onion, creamed corn
  • Saturday — Leftovers

Total spent on groceries: $68.14

Cashback earned this week: 50 points for submitting my receipts to Fetch rewards

{Last Chance!} Get the Eat at Home Menu Plan Service for 30% off!

It’s the LAST DAY to get a subscription to Eat at Home Menu Planning service for 30% off! If you haven’t taken advantage of this deal yet and have been meaning to, this is your gentle reminder that you need to run over and purchase — because the deal ends at midnight!

I’m just loving getting these messages from those of you who are signing up:

My Top 3 Reasons I Love Eat at Home

  1. My favorite thing about the Eat at Home Menu Plan Service is that — unlike many other menu plan services — you don’t have to pick one menu plan — you get access to four complete menu plans every single week. Yes, that’s right!
  2. I also LOVE that the plans were put together with busy families in mind — and many of the recipes can be made in less than 15 minutes.
  3. Finally, the recipes are GOOD! Someone asked this morning on Facebook Live whether we like all of the recipes and I could genuinely say that we typically love 50% of them, that we like 40-45% of them, and there are just 5-10% that aren’t necessarily ones we like. I think that’s pretty impressive considering we’re feeding 5 people here who have different palates!

On the Fence About Purchasing?

Many of you have already purchased the Eat at Home menu-planning service and have written to tell me you are excited about all of the time and effort and money you are going to save with it.

But others of you are still sitting on the fence and wondering whether it’s worth the investment. And I totally get that.

I don’t want you to spend your hard-earned money on something that isn’t going to be a great fit for you. But I also don’t want you to miss this opportunity to get such a great deal… because this deal only comes around two times per year and it’s the lowest price that you’ll ever find this menu-planning service.

If you’re on the fence about purchasing, I want to help you out. Here are three steps I encourage you to take to make sure this is for you:

1. Do not be silent… I’m Here to Answer Your Questions!

I will be checking comments here this afternoon and evening and am happy to answer your questions about the Eat at Home menu-planning service. Just leave a comment and ask whatever questions you have.

I’ll personally do my best to answer your question or to find out the answer for you! And trust me, I will be incredibly honest with you and let you know if I don’t think this menu-planning service is a good fit for you.

2. Download the Sample Menus

Want to see some samples of what the Eat at Home menu-plan service is like? You can view a sample menu plan for each of the 4 different menu plans you’ll get when you sign up for this service. Just go here to check out the sample menu plans here.

3. Try it Out for 30 Days

Eat at Home offers a full 30-day money-back guarantee. So if you think the service might work for you but you’re not sure, I recommend that you go ahead and signed up and try it out for a week to see if it will work. If it doesn’t, you can just email in and ask for your money back — no questions asked!

Have Picky Eaters?

Someone asked in the Eat at Home Facebook Group whether the Eat at Home Menu-Planning Service would work if you have picky eaters. I can’t promise or guarantee you anything, but here were some of the responses:

You can go here to read the rest of the responses to this question.

What You Get When You Sign Up

When you sign up for the Eat at Home Menu plan service (it’s just a few dollars per week — or less!), each month, you’ll get:

  • An entire month of No Flour, No Sugar menu plans, including weekly grocery lists and printable recipe instructions
  • An entire month of Traditional Menu Plans, including weekly grocery lists and printable recipe instructions
  • An entire month of Slow Cooker/Instant Pot Menu Plans, including weekly grocery lists and printable recipe instructions (this is my favorite!)
  • An entire month of Whole Food Menu Plans, including weekly grocery lists and printable recipe instructions
  • Each menu plan comes with recipes created for small family (3-4 servings) and large family (6-8 servings)
  • Color-coded grocery lists make it easy to swap out ingredients or whole meals
  • Printable Menus to hang on the fridge or near your calendar, so you can easily see what’s for dinner that week and your family can, too
  • Access to the entire month at once!
  • 1 Hour Freezer Stash Plans – a new plan each month to stock your freezer with 6 meals in 1 hour!

You can choose to stick with just the traditional menu plan or just the slow cooker menu plan or just the whole foods menu plan or just the no flour, no sugar menu plan. Or, you can rotate different menu plans on different weeks, depending upon what you feel like cooking or how much time you have!

Go sign up here — and use coupon code YES at checkout to get 30% off! That makes the annual plan just $1.13 per week!

If you have any questions about the Eat at Home Menu Plan service, just leave a comment and I’ll do my best to answer your question promptly!

P.S. Don’t forget, the Eat at Home Menu Plan service is only on sale until tonight at midnight! Use coupon code YES at checkout to get 30% off — that’s the lowest price you’ll get this year! Find more details on these fantastic menu plans here.

Note: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. If you click through and make a purchase, we will receive a commission — at no additional cost to you! Thank you for your support.

This Week’s $70 Grocery Budget + Our Menu Plan

Want to see what we bought for this week’s $70 grocery budget? I’m currently challenging myself to stick with a $70 budget for our family of five. This includes almost all of our breakfasts, lunches, snacks, and dinners + most household products (toiletries, laundry soap, etc.).

For live updates, be sure to follow my Instagram Stories. See all posts on my $70 Grocery Budget here.


Did you see that the Eat at Home Menu Plan service is on sale for just $1.13/week for the next few days? I love this menu plan service and think it is so fantastic if you need quick and easy menu plans that are family friendly and affordable.

You get access to 4 different menu plans (No Sugar/No Flour, Instant Pot/Slow Cooker, Traditional, and Traditional Wholesome) AND you get a color-coded grocery list for each menu plan every single week!

If you want to get some ideas of how this menu plan works and what the recipes are like, I’ve been making the recipes this week on live video. Here are three of them that I made:

  • Slow Cooker Teriyaki BBQ Chicken
  • Instant Pot Chicken Sandwiches
  • Slow Cooker King Ranch Chicken

Kroger Shopping Trip #1

  • Ground Beef — marked down to $4.29
  • 2 bags of apples  — marked down to $0.99
  • 1 bag of onions — marked down to $0.99
  • Santa Cruz lemonade — $0.99 when you buy 5 participating items
  • 2 Nourish bowls — marked down to $1 each
  • 1 carton of Siggi’s — marked down to $0.99
  • Milk — $2.69
  • 3 boxes of Cheerios — $1.49 each when you buy 5 participating items, used $1.50/3 coupon = $0.99 each
  • Corn Chips — $0.99 when you buy 5 participating items, used $0.45/1 coupon that Kroger emailed me = $0.54
  • Diced tomatoes — $0.50
  • Teriyaki sauce — $2.29
  • Total with tax: $19.57

My Toilet Paper Order

I ordered the toilet paper deal and it came in this week. I paid just $19.49 for the equivalent of 128 regular rolls! We should be stocked up for awhile!

By the way, this deal is still available! Check out all of the details here.

I was excited about the Friday-Saturday deals at Kroger — including a stock-up price on butter ($1.99 per pound!) I bought 5 and stuck them in the freezer!

Kroger Shopping Trip #2:

What We Ate This Past Week

Note: When you see the meals below, please remember this: I buy ahead often. Which means that when I find a great deal on something I know we’ll use, I buy as much as I can afford in our budget to have on hand.

This means that you aren’t going to see all of the groceries my shopping trip that I used to make all of the meals we ate.

Please also remember that I’m putting this out there and it’s not a perfectly balanced menu. This is just really what we ate — and I hope that it encourages you to see the real-ness and lack of perfection here.

Breakfasts:

Lunches:

  • Ham Sandwiches, Granola Bars, Yogurt, Capri Sun, Salad, Leftovers, Fruit

Snacks:

  • Cookies, Popcorn, Ice Cream, Go-Gurts, Fruit, Cheese, Whole Wheat Banana Bread

Dinners:

  • Sunday — Fend For Yourself
  • Monday —Tortilla Chicken Soup with crackers & cheese,  fruit
  • Tuesday — Slow Cooker Teriyaki BBQ Chicken over noodles, fruit
  • Wednesday — Instant Pot Chicken Sandwiches
  • Thursday — Slow Cooker King Ranch Chicken over noodles, green beans, fruit
  • Friday — Spaghetti, fruit
  • Saturday — Leftovers

Total spent on groceries: $67.04

Cashback earned this week: 50 points for submitting my receipts to Fetch rewards