In my house, there has to be something quick and easy in the freezer at all times that can be microwaved for lunch or a snack. If there’s not, spur-of-the-moment hunger pangs at unusual times of the day can lead to unhealthy and expensive trips through the drive-thru. I used to keep a stash of chicken patties, hot pockets or frozen burritos on hand, but I’ve been trying to eliminate all convenience food from our diets, so for a while I was at a loss at what to do. Then I devised these hot pocket knock-offs. They’ve been a godsend–they are the perfect vehicle to use up little bits of leftover meat, veggies or sauce, they freeze beautifully, and they heat up in 60-90 seconds!
Using homemade dough, leftover meat and sale-priced cheese, I can make a batch (about 14) of these for around $3.50. That’s less than 30 cents per pocket! And trust me, these are super easy to bake up.
You can either use a bread machine to mix this or knead it out by hand. Either way, let the dough rest for around 10 minutes when you’re through mixing/kneading.
4 cups flour
3 TBS oil
1 TBS sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1 cup of room temperature water
scant 1/4 cup of milk
2 teaspoons yeast
- Lightly mix flour, sugar and salt and mound on a floured countertop (I sometimes do my initial mixing in a large bowl). Add water, milk, oil and yeast in the center.
- Gently mix till a dough starts to form.
- Knead for around 7 minutes until dough ball is smooth and easily workable.
- Let rest for 10 minutes.
- Divide dough into 14 balls for 14 hot pockets
- Roll out into a rectangle and fill with cheese and meat of your choice
- Fold long sides over, then tops. Gently press or pinch to seal.
- Place onto a lightly greased baking sheet seam-side down and sprinkle with Italian seasoning and parmesan cheese.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes (tops should be slightly golden brown)
- You can eat them immediately, or freeze for later. To reheat, microwave for 60-90 seconds.
I fill these with leftover meatballs, sauce and cheese (after we’ve had a spaghetti dinner), leftover sliced or cubed ham with some cheddar cheese, or leftover shredded chicken with a bit of buffalo sauce and mozzarella. These would also be great with scrambled eggs, cheese and bulk sausage for quick breakfasts! To freeze, I put 1 or 2 into zippered freezer bags so they can be taken to work for lunch quickly.
Anybody else have any homemade frozen convenience food ideas that keep them away from fast food joints? Please share in the comment section!
The beauty of this soup is in it’s versatility; you can use most vegetables and any number of meat products that are available to you, and it will still taste delicious. Personally, I use up any leftovers I have from a beef roast, and I incorporate whatever veggies I have on hand that are looking sad in the fridge or need to be used up from the garden. You can also go simple and use a bag of frozen mixed vegetables from your freezer. This soup is thick and hearty enough for a meal if you include a loaf of homemade bread or a salad. Followed exactly, this recipe will feed at least 6 people. You can also adapt this recipe for the slow-cooker. From my estimates, this recipe cost me around $2 in total to make. Please note, I did go a little easy on the meat because I didn’t have much left this time. This dish has a great tomato flavor and a bit of a spicy kick; if you don’t care for heat in your food, decrease or omit the red pepper flakes.
- 1/2-1 lb. of leftover pot roast (or cooked ground beef or sausage)
- 2 large potatoes, cubed
- 2 stalks of celery, chopped
- 6 cups chicken stock (I use my homemade stock because it’s free, but you can also use veggie or beef stock, or water with bouillon)
- 2 can condensed tomato soup
- 1.5 cups of chopped veggies (either raw or frozen–use whatever you have on hand that you need to use up)
- 1/4 box of ditalini or macaroni noodles
- 2 TBS Worcestershire
- 2 tsps. red pepper flakes
- salt, pepper and onion powder to taste
- Bring the stock to a boil; add celery, potatoes and any raw veggies to the stock and boil for 10 minutes.
- Add the tomato soup and any frozen pasta noodles. Bring back to a boil and continue simmering for 10 minutes.
- Add any frozen veggies, Worcestershire sauce, pepper flakes, and seasonings. Continue to simmer 10 minutes more or until pasta and veggies are tender.
- Add beef or ground meat and heat through. Don’t worry if your leftover beef has gravy on it; this will add flavor to the soup.
- Serve with sprinkled parmesan or Romano cheese on top.
This leftover soup is a big hit in my house; my fiancé is super-picky and he still loves it. This is one of those recipes that has endless variations, so don’t be afraid to play around with it in order to use up any leftovers you have sitting in the fridge. It’s great for using up some of that end-of-summer zucchini surplus as well if you have a garden.
What about you? Any no-fail recipes that you use to get rid of veggie or meat leftovers?
As you can clearly see, Joey was super-excited about the new Purina coupon…
Rush on over to coupons.com to print out these high-value coupons that will make for some cheapies/freebies:
Hope everyone had a great weekend!!
Some meat/cheese products not pictured…
Whew! What a night at the stores (with Mike wanting to strangle me the whole time…I finally sent him to Home Depot to buy himself a wrench, or a clamp…or something…).
Haven’t quite figured out the exact details yet, but I spent around $30-$35 for what I’m estimating to be around $150 worth of product (retail). This is after sales, promotions, Catalinas, register coupons, and Rite Aid rewards that I received back were factored in. I also got some Saving Star money back, but haven’t figured that into the total yet, which would make it a buck or two cheaper.
- 3 Pledge Multi-Purpose cleaners
- 2 Lysol disinfectant wipes
- 16 rolls of Sparkle paper towels
- 2 Brut deodorant
- 2 Sure deodorant
- 2 Rite Guard body washes
- 1 bag of dog treats (free with coupon in K Mart’s monthly ad)
- 3 bottles of Purex detergent
- 2 Soft Scrub cleaners
- 1 Glade plug-in
(I’m new to the whole K-Mart coupon game (it is kind of confusing/infuriating!), but once I master the ins and outs I will be posting the best deals here on the blog, because with their doubling of $1 coupons, in-store register coupon deals, freebie coupons, and $5 gift cards, you can score some MAJOR free/cheap goodies here! But my total there should have been less if I’d done the deals correctly. I’ll figure it out and get back to you.)
- 6 boxes of Totino’s pizza rolls
- 2 Green Giant Seasoned Steamers Veggies
- 1 box of Super Pretzels
- 6 cans of Red Pack tomatoes (assorted varieties…yeah homemade sauce!)
- Package of 14 chicken patties (Mike looooves these when he wants to munch late night…)
- 4 Suave Shampoos
Shop n Save (forgot I made a quick stop there!)
- 2 bags of Fresh Express salad mix
- 3 boxes of Hamburger Helper (They still have selected varieties available for $1 if you still have some 75 cents/3 coupons laying around…I did!)
- 3 bags of shredded cheese
- Case of Mountain Dew cans (grrrr…no sale, no coupons…but Mike doesn’t drink coffee and he needs something to wake himself up in the morning…)
- 2 packages of Chips Ahoy! cookies (there was a Facebook $1/1 coupon, making these 88 cents each, but it’s gone now, I checked for you guys) 😦
- 2 lb Pork Sirloin roast (my freezer is already bursting at the seams with cheap chicken/ground meat, but we love pulled pork from the Crock Pot, and it was only $1.79/lb)
I think I got it all!! Anybody else have any great coupon halls this week? Tell us about it in the comment section below…
Check out Unilever’s new coupon beauty bounty and add some more products to your stockpile!
Click Here for 8 New Coupons (Just click the box at the bottom right of the page)
- $1.50/1 Clear Scalp Shampoo and Conditioner
- $1.50/2 Suave products
- $1.25/1 Caress Body Wash or Pond’s Face Care Item
- $1/1 TRESemme Hair Product
- $1/1 Noxema Face Care or St. Ives Lotion
- $3/1 Nexxus Hair Product
- $2.50/1 Simple Moisturizer or Cleanser
- $3/1 Dove Hand and Body Lotion
The Suave coupon should make many Suave products only around 20 cents each at Walmart or Dollar General…and the Noxema/St. Ives coupon will double at Kmart (as long as you’re buying $25 worth of merchandise there–before coupons). The rest are just drugstore freebies waiting to happen. 🙂
These coupons will all print at once, and you’ll be able to print them twice.
When I was doing my weekly grocery ad read-through and found GE’s Kool-Aid deal (20 packets for $2.50), I immediately planned to stock up because our supplies were low and I had a nice stockpile of sugar in the pantry from the great sales that were available over the past few weeks.
What the ad FAILED to mention was that there is an unadvertised Catalina deal that made my Kool-Aid purchase so much sweeter my teeth hurt…
If you buy 21 (not 20) packets, and pay the extra 15 cents, you’ll receive a Catalina coupon back at the register for $2 off your next purchase.
That works out to be about 3 cents per packet. Combine that with the inexpensive sugar you’ve hopefully put in your stockpile, and say bu-bye to shelling out wads of dough for overpriced drinks around the house.
a billingsgate knows exactly how it wants it
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Hi friends!! There are a few GREAT deals at Shop n Save…and this is the last day to get them! Below are just a few of my favorite deals, those that I consider “stock up for the zombie apocalypse/eventual economic downfall of America” good buys. 😉
- Ground Chuck is only $1.99/lb (haven’t seen it this low in about a year…stock up!)
- 10 lb bag of potatoes is only $1.88 (Holy Crap! If you have the space, store them. I’ve been looking up potato recipes like crazy…this is a really great price on these).
- Amish Classics American or Swiss Cheese is $2.98/lb (even if you usually buy the generic Kraft-style packaged slices, you’ll still make out on this deal…a pound is just about equivalent to two packages, and the quality is far superior).
- Sugardale Ham/Honeysuckle Turkey Breast from the deli is $2.98/lb (Mike did a Turkey Happy Dance)
- Domino Sugar is only $1.99 for a 4 lb bag...print out this coupon for 75 cents off 2 Domino Sugars (which will double) and get some shuga for only $1.25 per bag when you buy two.
- Select Hamburger Helpers…only $1 per box! There have been several coupons in past newspaper inserts (I’ve been slacking, so I’m not sure of the dates…they are 75 cents off 3 though, plus they double), but you can also print your HH coupons here.
- Hillandale Bagels and Cream Cheese are only $1
- Get a super-duper big container (I try to keep these around for my fiancee) of On-Cor Chicken Patties (I believe 14 in a package) for only $4. That’s only around 28 cents per patty!! Cheap lunch!
- Xtra Laundry detergent is only $1.99
- 3 lb bags of boneless, skinless chicken breasts are $5. But hopefully you stocked up a couple of weeks ago when they were only $4. If not, still not a bad price!!