butcher behind the meat counter

Shopping at the Meat Counter (Part 1)

When I step up to the meat counter at the grocery store, I get a little nervous.  There are dozens of choices, a wide range of prices, and a smiling person waiting patiently on the other side of the counter.  I do my best to come into this situation prepared, but it can still be nerve wracking.  This week and next week, I am going to write a little bit about how I make decisions about what to buy at the meat counter when I go grocery shopping.

woman grocery shopping

Shopping at the Meat Counter (Part 2)

Last week, I shared what I do at home to prepare for a visit to the meat counter at the grocery store.  This week, I have a few other ideas to share that will (hopefully) make your future trips to the meat counter a little easier.

Confetti Rice and Bean Salad

Confetti Rice and Bean Salad

Happy Labor Day from the Spend Smart. Eat Smart. team!  Our September recipe of the month is perfect for a Labor Day picnic – Confetti Rice and Bean Salad.

Spend Smart. Eat Smart.

Simple Apple Dessert

“What’s for dessert?”  That is a question I hear a lot at my home.  Thankfully, my children are usually satisfied with a dish of fruit for their dessert. But, sometimes they want something special – something a little sweeter to top off their meal.  Our October recipe of the month, Simple Apple Dessert, makes that fruit special.

Spend Smart. Eat Smart.

Stuffing with Vegetables

Thanksgiving is coming up soon and we want our November recipe of the month to make your Thanksgiving menu. Traditional Thanksgiving stuffing can be high in calories and sodium and low on vitamins and minerals. Our Stuffing with Vegetables flips that around for a side dish that is lower in calories and sodium and filled with vegetables that provide vitamins, minerals, and fiber.

Baked Oatmeal Muffins

Baked Oatmeal Muffins

A few years ago I wrote about a baked oatmeal recipe my husband’s grandmother had shared with me. That year it made an excellent holiday breakfast for our family. That recipe has made its way to our table many times and in many different ways since then. After a lot of trial and error, we now have our December recipe of the month for this year – Baked Oatmeal Muffins.

Spend Smart. Eat Smart.


My family loves kiwi fruit. One of my favorite stories of my oldest son involves kiwi fruit. One night, my husband had washed two kiwis and set them on a paper towel to air dry. He intended to put them in his lunch the next morning before he headed to work, but he forgot. At lunch that day, I peeled and cut up the kiwis and shared them with my son who was two years old at the time. I told him that these were daddy’s kiwis and, since he forgot them, we were going to eat them. He thought it was so funny that we were eating “daddy’s tiwis”. That night when my husband returned home, my son started laughing so hard that he could hardly speak. Finally, we heard him say, “we ate your tiwis daddy!”.

Spend Smart. Eat Smart.

Ramen Noodle Skillet

The Spend Smart. Eat Smart. Ramen Noodle Skillet recipe is always a winner at my house. My husband loves it, my children devour it, and even the grandmas and grandpas enjoy it when they come to visit. Ramen noodles are an inexpensive and easy meal, but they do not keep you full for long. Our Ramen Noodle Skillet adds vegetables and meat to give those noodles staying power.

Slow cooker black eyed pea soup

Slow Cooker Black Eyed Pea Soup

My family has never had any New Year food traditions. I have been reading up on some New Year food traditions from around the world and everything I read sounded so good that I am thinking I need to start one of these traditions with my family.

Spend Smart. Eat Smart.

Slow Cooker – Converting Recipes

I love using my slow cooker for many reasons.  Right now, the main reason I love my slow cooker is the timing. There are usually two or three nights each week when someone in our family needs to be somewhere by 6 or 6:30. It is really hard for me to make a meal, feed everyone, and then get three children out the door on time.  These are the nights when I rely on my slow cooker.  I can do the prep for a meal the night before, load the slow cooker in the morning, and then have a great meal ready in the evening.

Berry and Greens Smoothie

Berry and Greens Smoothie

When it is smoothie night at my house, my children get so excited.  Mostly because they love smoothies, but also because they love to help make smoothies.  If you are trying to get your children involved in the kitchen, our February recipe of the month – Berry and Greens Smoothie – is a great place to start.

little boy eating an apple

How Much Should My Child be Eating?

How much should my child be eating? This is a question that every parent asks themselves. Unfortunately, the answer is not simple. The answer depends on the age of the child, whether or not they are going through a growth spurt, the health status of the child, and other factors that we do not even understand.