Category Archives: Budget

Heart-Healthy, Crispy Chicken

Meke money savvy meals that are healthy and delicious too!

Make money savvy meals that are healthy and delicious too!

Cooking on a budget doesn’t mean that you can’t make savory, delicious meals. Sometimes, you have to be willing to plan your meals around the weekly grocery store sales though. I bought thin-sliced chicken breast when they were on sale, so instead of paying over $5 for the package of chicken, I only paid $3.80. A package of thin-sliced chicken breast usually gives you six pieces of chicken, rather than three regular sized chicken breasts. I like using thin-sliced chicken or chicken tenderloins because they cook much quicker and it is also a good form of portion control. You can also create your own healthy version of your favorite foods.

Crispy, Baked ChickenOur family loves fried chicken, so this crispy, baked chicken is a perfect, healthy substitute.

Heart-Healthy, Crispy Chicken Recipe
(This recipe has been adapted from the Bisquick Ultimate Chicken Fingers recipe)
Crispy Chicken coating
6 thinly sliced chicken breasts
2/3 c. Bisquick mix
1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 c. crushed corn flakes
salt and pepper to taste (I use Morton Seasoned Salt because it has other seasonings already in it)
steak seasoning to taste (Weber Chicago Steak seasoning is pretty much good on any meat!)
Egg Wash
1 egg
4 Tbsp. milk
2 Tbsp. honey mustard

Chicken in egg
Dip each piece of chicken in the egg wash.

Make sure both sides are drenched.

Crispy coating

Coat the chicken with your crispy coating mixture.

You will need to turn chicken several times to make sure it is thoroughly coated.

arrange in greased pan

Arrange in a glass pan, greased with olive oil. (Olive oil is a healthier alternative to using cooking spray)

Bake for 17-20 minutes at 450 degrees. Turn over halfway through bake time. Depending on how thinly sliced your chicken is, you may need to adjust bake time.

Add brussel sprouts and a sweet potato to this low-fat, heart-healthy chicken dish.

Add brussel sprouts and a sweet potato to this low-fat, heart-healthy chicken dish.


I bought two large sweet potatoes and brussel sprouts to go along with the chicken. Altogether, this meal for four cost less than $8! You can’t even buy fast food for a family of four that inexpensively!

Birthday Party Fun

Cupcakes make for a fun and festive kid birthday party… and they will save you a lot of money too! I made 24 cupcakes for less than $5. To buy a cake (or decorated cupcakes) for that many people would cost around $20. Use food coloring in white frosting to make several different colors and decorate with any sprinkles you like for cupcakes that match any birthday party theme!

Derek's 1st Birthday 003

I love to buy decorations to match the birthday party theme, but that can get expensive. A pack of 8 count charachter plates is usually around $2. I can get a pack of 60 solid color red plates, which will compliment the theme, for about $3. By mixing the the red plates, every-other-one, it becomes part of the theme, and saves money! Do the same with napkins to save even more.

Curious George Theme

Curious George Theme

When having a party in a smaller space or at home, it is a lot of fun to hang decorations from the ceiling. Instead of paying to have helium balloons floating near the ceiling, I use ribbon to hand balloon and theme decorations. The balloons are only a few cents each, while the theme ceiling decorations are nearly $1 each. Adding in the balloons gives nice color, makes the room festive, and again, saves money!

Decorative, fun parties don’t have to break the bank. Happy, savvy birthday party planning!

Store Rewards Cards

rewards cards

Many stores offer savings or rewards for their members. They are free to join, you simply have to present the member card at the time of purchase. Some savings are instant, with money off of certain sale items or points are earned toward a savings certificate for the future. Either way, you can literally save hundreds of dollars per year by participating in these rewards clubs. Here are some of my favorites:

Grocery stores: Giant Eagle, Buehler’s, Kroger

Drug Stores: Rite Aid, CVS, Walgreens

Stores: Babies ‘R’ Us/ Toys ‘R’ Us, Children’s Place, Van Huesen Outlet, Hallmark, Maurice’s

Restuarants: Panera Bread, Starbucks

Happy, savvy shopping and saving!

Save money, buy generic brands

Great Value, Market Pantry, Equate

Great Value, Market Pantry, Equate

Buying generic is a simple way to save money. Many times, the generic label or a store brand label is put onto the very same product that would get a name brand label. These generic label products are bought at a volume discount and that savings is passed on to the consumer. This can be especially useful when buying medicine; the savings can be substantial. Make sure to look at the active ingredients though, for a direct comparison. You can easily save 15-50% on store brand and generic products, depending on the product! Opt for these products and watch your grocery and household items savings increase! Enjoy money savvy shopping!

1 2 3 4