5 Tips for Easter on a Budget

Growing up Easter was one of my favorite holidays, we would do Easter egg hunts both at home and at relatives houses and we would always receive a basket full of goodies. Even though we lived life on a budget growing up, as I still do today my parents always made Easter very special. I knew it was important with my own children to develop special traditions for the Easter holiday so they could have the fond memories that I had of this day growing up.

Here are a few ways that we keep Easter on a budget:

1. Reuse your Easter baskets year after year this will let eliminate the cost of buying new baskets every year. Your children will also get used to what basket belongs to them making it easier for them to find it on Easter morning.

2. Remember to fill the bottom of the basket fully with filler to give the look of a full basket even when there is only a few items in it. Here are some great alternatives to using grass in the basket that takes up more space. 

3. If you remembered to freeze some of your Halloween candy because let's face it the children get so much of it at Halloween, now it the time to take it out and add it to the Easter basket.

4. There is no reason to buy the Easter dye kits in the store, just reach into your cupboard and grab some of your food coloring and just mix 1 tablespoon of food coloring with 2 teaspoons of vinegar in a cup and then fill it to the halfway point with water and you are ready to begin coloring your Easter eggs.

5. My biggest tip for doing Easter on a budget will not help you this year, but will help you next year remember to check the sales after Easter to pick up decorations and baskets that would be appropriate for your children saving a ton on the price and helping you stay on budget for next year.

Panzerotti (Video Included) #WhatsCookingWednesday

I never like to waste food in the kitchen. When I have leftover meat I like to use it up in a few days or freeze it for a meal later in the week. I cooked a ham and found that I had a lot of leftovers. I portioned it out to use for other meals and put it into the freezer. 

One of our family favourites is panzerotti. Everyone in the family likes different things in the panzerotti so making them at home and to everyone liking is not only easy to do but makes a fuss free dinner since it is exactly as they like. 


For the dough (you could also use store bought pizza dough)
split the dough into quarters:

2 envelopes active dry yeast (I used just over a tablespoon of bulk yeast)
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. sugar
2 cups warm water
5 cups all-purpose flour
olive oil (I just drizzle in enough to make the dough easier to work with, probably a tablespoon or so)

Combine the yeast, salt, sugar, and warm water in a bowl. Cover and leave in a warm place for 10 minutes, or until foamy. Place flour in a bowl. Make a well in the center, add the yeast mixture and olive oil, and mix well.

For the panzerotti
2-3 Tbsp Tomato Sauce
1 cup Ham (diced)
and any other toppings you like on a pizza. 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Now take your dough and make sure you divided it into 4 pieces. Set 3 aside and start working on your first one.
You want to lay it out on a floured surface. You can either hand stretch it or use a rolling pin.
Roll it just like you would a pizza.
Now on the one side of the dough put some sauce. About 2 or 3 tablespoons should be good.
Now toss on your meat where you put the sauce.
Now add your cheese. Make sure you leave enough rim to wrap the panzerotti so you want a good 1 to ½ inch space around the edge.
Now take your dough and fold it over. It should make a little half moon.
Now press lightly on the middle where the toppings are to remove any air. Important step.
Now press down the edges to seal them.
Now you take those edges and fold them over on again.
Press the edges down really well so you have an air tight seal.
Now very carefully lift it up (by hand if you're a pro, spatula if not) and put it on the cooking tray to put in the oven. 
Cook until done usually about 10 to 15 minutes. 

Let's Chat!

Do you make pizza and panerotti's at home? What is your favourite things to put on them? 


*** It's just my life... was supplied meat and cookware from www.ShopeaseFoods.com. The recipes, video and photos are my own. The opinions and comments on this blog are those of the author. ***

Real Food on Budget
Week of March 12, 2018.

After taking a few weeks off, it is time to get back to posting my weekly grocery shops. It is almost hard for me to believe but I am still using up my meat in the freezer. I am sure we an go almost another 2 months on the supply I have built up. Having said that I am not going to pass up any good sales on chicken while I am using up my stock. I don't believe in using all I have up and starting fresh. I feel the way I save money is that I continuing replenish my small stock of what we use so I never have to pay full price for any of it. 

There are staple items we us week after week so to use it all up without always looking for a sale doesn't make any sense to me. I always keep a running list of our staple items and review it weekly. This week brown sugar was on sale so I grabbed two bags of brown sugar to have one in my pantry and one in my container.   
$75 for a family a week

Meals this week:

Sheet Pan Greek Chicken & Potatoes
Pulled Chicken, Rice, Broccoli
Pork Souvlaki, Rice, Carrots
One Pot Pasta
Lemon Chicken & Fried Rice, Veggies
Cabbage Roll Casserole


Our lunches usually consist of dinner leftovers. 
- Salad
- Soup
- Egg Salad


- Fresh Fruit (Oranges, Strawberries & Apples)
- Toast
- Bagels
- Oatmeal


- Banana Bread
- Oatmeal Cookies with Butterscotch Chips

$ 2.45     Green Grapess
  1.92      Red Grapes
  1.78      Lettuce
  1.78      Onions 3lbs
  3.96      Brown Sugar 1.98 x2
  1,44      Dare Cookies
  5.00      Old Dutch Chips 2.50 x2
  4.98      Bread 2.49 x2
  4.27      Milk 4L
  2.50      Broccoli
  2.98      Cheese Buns
  6.99      Farm Boy Potato & Leek Soup
$40.05 - Total Spent


$34.96 - Total left from week of March 12th
$48.64 - Total left from week March 5th

Total - $83.59 brought forward

Items on hand:

- Onions
- Potatoes
- Carrots
- Rice
- Chicken Breast
- Chicken Meatballs (Frozen)
- Ground Chicken
- Chicken Thighs
- Ground Turkey
- Chicken Legs
- Whole Turkey x 1
- Pork Chops
- Pasta (Various)
- Bread
- Wraps
- Apples
- Grapes
- Oranges
- Cheese
- Quinoa

If you are looking for more menu inspiration be sure to check out Orgjunkie, she hosts a weekly menu plan Monday link up.   


Do you try to keep your staple items always on hand and stocked up?

Teriyaki Chicken Casserole (Video Included) #WhatsCookingWednesday

My husband loves to come home to dinner on the table when he gets in from a long day at work. I love to cook for him so making some of our favourite casseroles during the winter months make dinner prep a lot easier for me. I like to prep casseroles in the morning and then store them in the fridge until it is time to put them in the oven for dinner. I find that really frees up my day to do things with my daughter and help her with her school work for the day. 

Fried Rice
1 TBSP Butter
2 eggs, whisked
2 TBSP Butter
1 cup Mixed Vegetables , frozen or canned
2 cloves, Garlic minced
1 small White Onion, diced
Salt and Pepper to taste
3 to 4 cups cooked rice, chilled
2 green onions
4 TBSP Soy Sauce
2 tsp Oyster Sauce (optional)
1/2 tsp Sesame Oil

Heat 1 TBSP butter in a large skillet until melted. Add in eggs and cook until scrambled. Remove egg. 

Add additional butter to pan and heat until melted. Add in diced onions, mixed vegetables, garlic, salt and pepper saute until soft. Once heated through add in rice, soy sauce, green onions, Oyster Sauce. Continue to heat rice through for an additional 3 to 5 minutes. Add eggs to combine and Sesame Oil. Remove from heat and serve warm. 

Teriyaki Chicken Casserole

3 cups Fried Rice (recipe above)
1 chicken breast
1 package stir fry vegetables

Teriyaki Sauce (or buy a bottle of premade Teriyaki Sauce)
3/4 cup Soy Sauce
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup Brown Sugar
1 TBSP Honey
1/2 tsp Ground Ginger
1 tsp Sesame Oil 
1 clove Garlic, minced
2 TBSP Corn Starch
2 TBSP Cold Water

1. Make fried rice from recipe above or buy premade.
2. Heat oven to 350 Degrees
To make Teriyaki Sauce
3. In a medium sauce pan combine, stir together soy sauce, water, brown sugar, honey, ground ginger, sesame oil and garlic. 
4. In a small bowl stir together corn starch and cold water, add a 1 tsp of teriyaki sauce to corn starch mixture and then slowly pour everything into the boiling mixture whisking until it thickens. Then set aside. 
5. Place the chicken in a baking dish and pour 1 cup of the teriyaki sauce over the chicken. Bake for 30 minutes, remove from oven and shred chicken. 
6. Steam the veggies and then add the veggies, rice and chicken together in a 9x12 greased baking dish. Drizzle remaining teriyaki sauce over top. 
7. Bake for another 15 minutes, remove from oven and serve immediately. 

Let's Chat!

Do you make a lot of casseroles in the winter? What is your families favourite casserole?


*** It's just my life... was supplied meat and cookware from www.ShopeaseFoods.com. The recipes, video and photos are my own. The opinions and comments on this blog are those of the author. ***