Tobins' Tastes: September 2013

Monday, September 30, 2013

Green Giant Veggie Chips {Giveaway!}

 Disclosure: The information and prize pack have been provided by Publix® andGreen Giant™ through MyBlogSpark.

One of the fun perks of blogging is occasionally getting to hear about and try new products. One of favorite of these products over the last year or so has to be Green Giant Veggie Chips. I have done a few posts about them so if you are tired of hear about them, sorry!

Green Giant™ Veggie Snack Chips are made with real veggies and have 17 grams of whole grain per serving (14g for Sweet Potato Chips, 18g for Ranch). Plus, Green Giant Multigrain Sweet Potato Chips have 40% less fat than regular potato chips. I am obsessed with the Sea Salt Sweet Potato flavor and could honestly eat an entire bag in one sitting. {I have to admit that between my parents, Justin & I we polished off two bags with some spinach dip during the Notre Dame game on Saturday}

All-new Green Giant™ Veggie Snack Chips offer a smarter snacking option and are available in four delicious flavors your family will love:

  • Green Giant™ Roasted Veggie Tortilla Chips – Zesty Cheddar Flavor
  • Green Giant™ Multigrain Sweet Potato Chips – Sea Salt
  • Green Giant™ Roasted Veggie Tortilla Chips – Garden Ranch Flavor
  • Green Giant™ Multigrain Sweet Potato Chips – Barbeque
Right now, you can grab a great deal on these at Publix through October 4th. I just did this deal on Thursday:
  •  Buy 4 bags of Green Giant Veggie Chips, retails for $2.65 each, on sale for $2.00 each
Thanks to Publix & Green Giant through My Blog Spark, one reader will win a Green Giant Veggie Chips prize pack with one bag of each flavor and a $25 Publix gift card. The giveaway will run though midnight on Sunday October 10th. Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter!

Sunday, September 29, 2013

9/26 Publix Trip: Saved 70%

It's been so long since I have grocery shopped you are all probably wondering if we have eaten at all in the last few weeks. I finally made it to Publix Thursday after about two weeks of surviving on things from the freezer and eating down our fridge. We also recently made a change to our grocery budget that has helped me avoid the grocery store as well.

As you may know, We have a weekly cash grocery/household items budget of $80. (Read more about it HERE) I supplement that budget with gift cards from blog promotions or rebates as well. Many weeks we are way under $80 so I just roll that cash into "excess grocery money" and save it in case we go over in the future. I also use that extra cash to pay for our twice a year Zaycon chicken order too.

We found that we were ending up with lots of extra grocery cash which was great because we used it to visit the farmers' market or pay other bills. Recently we had an opportunity to join an organic produce share and we decided to try it for awhile. We get our share every other week and pay $45 for each share. We are loving it so far. We may not have a ton of extra cash in our household budget but the chance to have a variety of produce every other week is well worth it.

Not only do we get fresh organic produce but it working out to be a much better deal financially than buying everything at Publix. We are having to think outside the box recipe wise but it has been fun. It was a good time to introduce it into our budget as well since I had $75 in Publix gift cards from My Blog Spark promos so I have been able not spend any cash for groceries lately (this week included) which is allowing me to build up some reserve cash to cushion the expense of the produce over the next few weeks.

Here is what we got this week:

  • Sweet Baby Broccoli
  • Red Bell Peppers
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Baby Garnett Sweet Potatoes
  • Yellow Onions
  • Zucchini
  • Collards
  • Baby Kale
  • Romaine
  • Slicing Tomatoes
  • White Mushrooms
  • Kiwi Berries
  • McIntosh Apples
  • Ruby Grapefruit
  • Cantaloupe
  • Bananas

I only spent $25 of my gift cards this week and I was very happy to replenish our yogurt supply and grab a few super deals too. Our fridge is looking full again and our freezer will be very full in two weeks when our fall Zaycon order arrives. I am really hoping to get back on schedule for real this time and get back to my weekly Thursday trips and posts. 

Breakdown of Thursday's Publix trip:
Total retail vaule $82.97
Total spent (paid with gift card): $24.53
Total saved: $58.44
Percent saved: 70%

What I got with sale/coupon match ups:
  •  1 Yucatan Guacamole, retails for $2.99
    • Used a $3 off Facebook coupon
    • Made it FREE
  • 3 Pillsbury Grands Biscuits, retails for $2.29 each, on sale for $1.25 each
  • 2 DiGiorno Pizzas, retails for $7.49 each, on sale for $5.00 each
  •  4 bags of Green Giant Veggie Chips, retails for $2.65 each, on sale for $2.00 each
  •  1 box of Chobani Champion Greek Yogurt tubes, retails for $2.89, on sale for $2.00
  •  2 Marzetti Simply Dressed Salad Dressings, retails for $3.69 each, on sale BOGO ($1.84 each)
  • 2 McCormicks Gourmet Spices, retails for $3.79 each
  •  4 Chobani Greek Yogurts, retails for $1.25 each, on sale for $1.00 each
  • 3 bags of Publix Steamer Bags of Brown Rice, retails for $1.39 each, on sale for $1.00 each
  •  1 package of Mission Tortillas, retails for $2.79, on sale for $1.99
    • Used a .55 cents off peelie
    • Made it $1.44
  •  5 Dannon Light & Fit Greek Yogurts, retails for $1.20 each
    • Used a $1/5 blinkie coupon
    • Made them $1.00 each
  •  2 cartons of Swanson Chicken Broth, retails for $2.69 each, on sale BOGO ($1.34 each)
  •  1 half gallon of Silk Almond Milk, retails for $3.35
  •  1 carton of All Egg Whites, retails for $2.79
    • Used a .75 cents off Publix coupon from the Green Ad. Flyer
    • Made it $2.04

Friday, September 27, 2013

Tangy Orange Cashew Chicken {One Stop Meals With Tyson #MixNMatchMeals}

I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias and their client.

I can't tell you how many times I have found myself standing in front of the fridge at 5:30 wondering what to make for dinner. As much as I love to cook, sometimes I wish it was easier to throw together a family meal. How often have you asked yourself, "what goes with that?" What sauce goes with what meat and what side goes with both of them?

Thankfully, Tyson has heard my silent kitchen prayers and answered them with their new Mix & Match Meal Creations. Mix & Match makes putting together a complete meal as easy as making three choices: protein, sauce, side. With 192 different combinations, there is something for every dinner mood out there.

Since Chinese take out is our go to "we ran out of motivation time to make dinner" choice, I decided to recreate one of our favorite dishes at home. I went with the Tangy Orange sauce paired it with Chicken Breast Chunks and Whole Grain Brown Rice and added my own personal twist. I added some sliced red pepper for flavor and color and topped the whole thing with crushed cashews and thinly sliced green onions.

I could not believe how easy and how good the entire meal was. It tasted like it was straight from a restaurant without the hassle and cost of actually going to one. The chicken was breaded perfectly to hold up to the tangy and sweet sauce and it wouldn't be Orange Chicken if I didn't pair it rice. I love that I could personalize the dish as much or as little as I wanted. It felt like it was truly homemade since I could put my own little touch on it.

Justin and I both had heaping servings and we still had plenty of leftovers for lunch the next day. This could easily serve a family of four without a problem. The whole meal was out of the freezer and on to the table in less than 30 minutes and cost about $10; perfect for a busy week night. I can't wait to try the other sauces, meats and sides. And since it doesn't look like my life will be getting less busy anytime soon, I can already tell I am going to be very glad Tyson #MixNMatchMeals have so many dinner options.

Tangy Orange Cashew Chicken with Tyson Mix & Match Meals
  • 1 bag of Tyson Mix & Match Chicken Breast Chunks
  • 1 pouch (box has two pouches) of Tyson Mix & Match Tangy Orange Sauce
  • 1 bag of Tyson Mix & Match Whole Grain Brown Rice
  • 1 small red pepper, thinly sliced
  • 2 teaspoons of olive oil
  • Thinly sliced green onions
  • 1/4 cup of crushed cashews
1.) Per instructions on the bag, heat up chicken in the oven.

2.) While the chicken is cooking, saute the peppers in olive oil until slightly softened (3-4 minutes).

3.) When the chicken has 10 minutes left, microwave the rice per instructions on bag.

4.) Empty the sauce packet into the sauce pan with the peppers and let it heat up while the other items are finishing up.

5.) In the sauce pan, stir in heated up chicken until completely coated with the sauce. Pour the sauce and chicken over the rice and top with crushed cashews and garnish with sliced green onions.

6.) Serve while warm and enjoy!

Connect with Tyson

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

40+ Pumpkin Dessert Recipes

After spending a long weekend with friends in Chicago, I am ready for Fall! The weather was perfect: sunny, 65 and breezy. It was the kind of weather that makes you want to put on boots and a sweater and curl up with a pumpkin spice latte reading a book with the windows open.

Since Fall is officially in full swing, how about some fabulous Pumpkin desserts to get you in the mood. Pumpkin not your thing? Too bad! Stay tuned for a round up of non-pumpkin (gasp!) fall flavors desserts next week : )

Many of these photos are not mine but I have rounded them up for you to enjoy. If you want to pin an individual recipe or specific photo please click through to the original post and share from there. If you want to pin this post and the entire collection just pin the collage above!

Still not enough for you? Check out my Fall Flavors Pinterest Board for tons of Fall flavored recipes!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Cookies

 These Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Cookies are the perfect thing to ease you into Thanksgiving overload. Light, fluffy, sweet and just a hint of pumpkin- it's just enough fall to get you through until October rolls around. 

Do you have pumpkin whiplash yet? I know I do. I can barely open my laptop or turn on my iPad without being smacked in the face with pumpkin overload. Pumpkin Spice Lattes, Pumpkin Cupcakes, Pumpkin Candles: I have even seen Pumpkin Twinkies on Pinterest.

Whatever happen to easing into the holidays? It's still 85 degrees out. I plan on laying out this weekend. I can't start eating pumpkin pie yet. I want to get into the seasonal spirit but I can't justify opening a can of pumpkin puree just yet. So I made you a pumpkin spice fill in the blank dessert with just a hint of the good stuff.

When I saw this Limited Edition Philadelphia Pumpkin Cream Cheese I knew exactly what I would be making with it. Seriously, stock up on this stuff. It is like crack. I want to spread it on everything, no really, everything. And now that I have tried it, I have visions of frostings, bagels, donuts, breakfast foods and more. I am pretty sure I will be buying this about 957 times between now and late November.

It has a distinct pumpkin taste on its own but once you add it to chocolate chip cookie recipe you have a heavenly cloud of subtle pumpkin goodness. These cookies are just what the doctor ordered when it comes to curing your holiday themed food hangover.

Because really, it's not even October yet. And if Pinterest keeps it up with the pumpkin madness, I highly doubt anyone in my family will feel like a pumpkin spice anything by the time we finally make it to Thanksgiving dinner. So make these cookies and give your taste buds (and your can opener) a little break.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Cookies
  • 10 tablespoons of butter
  • 8oz. of Philadelphia Pumpkin Spice Cream Cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups of flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 cup of chocolate chips
1.) Beat together butter, cream cheese, egg, sugar and vanilla until smooth.

2.) Mix together the rest of the dry ingredients (except chocolate chips).

3.) Slowly add and beat in dry ingredients mixing only until fully incorporated. 

4.) Stir in chocolate chips.

5.) Using a rounded cookie scoop, place scoops of dough onto a lined cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes. 


Need more pumpkin in your life? Check our my Pumpkin Desserts Round Up for 40+ more recipes!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Quick Breakfast With Pillsbury Heat-N-Go {Two Giveaways!}

Disclosure: This information and prize packs have been provided to me by Pillsbury and My Blog Spark. 

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As some who has to be a work by 7:30 and who also lives 25 minutes away from my work, I am always looking for quick, easy, and yummy breakfast options. These new Heat-N-Go! Pancakes and Waffles from Pillsbury make for the perfect breakfast. 

Pillsbury Heat-N-Go come in two tasty flavors of pancakes (Maple Burst’n and Blueberry) and one flavor of waffle (Maple Madness). They are great for grabbing as I run out the door and can be quickly microwaved since each serving comes individually wrapped with flavor already baked in.

Each serving also provides 14g of whole grain, 0g of trans fat and no high fructose corn syrup, so you can feel good about Pillsbury Heat-N-Go as a tasty treat at any time of the day. I found mine at Walmart in the freezer section for .88 cents a bag. I know that Sam's also carries them in bulk packing as well.

Want to try them? There are two great printable coupons out there right now which can make these very affordable. Grab .55 cents off of one bag or a Buy One, Get One FREE coupon depending on what would make the best deal for you.


To top it off, I have a giveaway with two separate prize packs for two Couponing & Cooking readers thanks to Pillsbury and My Blog Spark. I am very excited about these because we also receive the same prize packs as part of this post and Justin and I were very happy with ours : )

Gift pack #1: 
10 VIP Free Product Coupons to try each of the three flavors
Double-walled stainless steel tumbler (includes infuser for tea)
Insulated Bag (holds up to 24 cans)
Retail Value: $60

Gift pack #2:
10 VIP Free Product Coupons to try each of the three flavors
$25 Walmart Gift Card

Giveaway runs through  midnight on September 30th. Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Flavor Excursion at Publix {Win a $25 Publix Gift Card!}

Have you noticed the Publix Flavor Excursions promotion in stores yet?. Through September 17, you can explore the "tastes of the world" by shopping for select items on sale. Not only are the items on sale but they also correspond with recipes in the in store coupon booklet as well.

Inspired by recipes from around the world, your family will love these fun new tastes, and you’ll love the savings! The coupons are available to print and through Publix's digital coupons too! Here are a few of the advertised sales and promotions that you can take advantage of:

Green Giant Valley Fresh and Seasoned Steamers:  On sale BOGO
Digital Coupon:
- $1/3 Green Giant Valley Fresh and Seasoned Steamers 
Print at Home Coupons:
- $.60/3 Green Giant Valley Fresh and Seasoned Steamers

Pillsbury Crescent & Cinnamon Rolls & Breads: 3/$6
Digital Coupons:
- $.50/2 Pillsbury Crescents 
- $.40/2 Pillsbury Cinnamon Rolls 
Print at Home Coupons:
- $.40/2 Pillsbury Crescents 
- $1/2 Cinnamon Rolls

Old El Paso Items: 4/$5
Digital Coupons:
- $.60/3 Old El Paso items 
Print At Home Coupons:
- $.50/1 Old El Paso Sauce

Progresso Recipe Starters and Soup: 4/$6
Digital Coupons:
- $1/4 Progresso Soup, Recipe Starters and Broth 
Print at Home Coupons:
- $.50/2 Progresso Soups

BOGO items:
- Progresso Breadcrumbs

You can grab these coupons digitally by visiting and also print them from home at These values are limited so get to printing as soon as possible!

In addition to the Flavor Excursion event, Publix has a sweepstakes going on in which 500 shoppers will receive an $100 gift card! You can visit here where you will have the option to register and enter.

Want another chance to win? One Couponing & Cooking reader will win a $25 Publix gift card thanks to My Blog Spark and Publix. Use the Rafflecopter widget below to win. Giveaway ends at midnight on Monday September 23rd.

Disclosure: The information and prize pack above were provided to my by My Blog Spark and Publix.

Cheesy Chicken & Brown Rice Casserole {#QuickFixCasseroles}

This Cheesy Chicken & Brown Rice Casserole is the perfect week night dish. Veggies, brown rice, chicken and a creamy sauce all topped with melty cheese. And the best part? No cream of anything or canned ingredients!

With school back in full swing and fall right around the corner, it is the perfect time to start busting out some casserole recipes. I have to admit that I was once a casserole skeptic. I had scary images in my head of processed canned soup dumped over questionable ingredients. And I am ashamed to say that I steered clear of casserole dishes for a long time as a result.

Then I realized that not only could I make my own versions of casseroles where I controlled the ingredients but they were the perfect week night solution to a filling and easy meal. One of my favorite casserole recipes is this Cheesy Chicken & Brown Rice dish- no canned soups, sour cream, cream cheese, mayonnaise or cream of anything included.

A few ways I have adapted this recipe over time to make it easier:
  • Use precut, frozen veggies-no need to spend time chopping
  • Use steam in the bag, frozen brown rice- ready in minutes, no fuss
  • Once a week we bake or boil a few chicken breasts and shred them in the food processor. We then bag them up and stick them in the freezer for easy week night use
  • Cook once, eat twice- this recipe makes two smaller sized casserole dishes. We eat one and freeze one for later to solve the problem of coming home after a busy day of work and school and not wanting to start cooking at 5:30. You can easily double it to make bigger sized meals.

As the nights get cooler, I love having something to pop in the oven and half an hour later have a complete meal on the table. With veggies, protein, a carb and some gooey cheese, this dinner satisfies every food group I would want on my plate with the ease of one dish. It's warm, filling, and amazingly rich & flavorful for not having any processed items in it.

You can easily change this up to reflect what you have on hand at home. We are planning on adding in some broccoli or maybe even switching out wild rice next time we make it. So join me in changing the image of casseroles and try your own version of this #quickfixcasserole tonight. 

Cheesy Chicken & Brown Rice Casserole adapted from Picky Palate
  •  3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion finely diced
  • 3 stalks of celery finely diced
  • 2 cups frozen peas & carrots mix
  • 2 cloves of garlic minced
  • 2 cups of shredded cooked chicken
  • 3 cups of cooked brown rice (we used our store brand steam in the bag)
For the sauce:
  • 4 tablespoons of Country Crock
  • 1/4 cup of flour
  • 2 cups of low sodium chicken broth
  • 3 cups total of shredded cheese (I used a three cheese blend)
  • salt and pepper to taste
1.) Heat oil in a large pan and saute the celery, peas, carrots, onion and garlic until soft, took about 10 minutes.

2.) Stir in chicken, rice and mix well. Pour into a lightly greased 9x13 pan or two smaller pans.

3.) While veggies are sauteing, melt butter in a small pan. Slowly whisk in flour followed by chicken broth. Let mixture simmer and continue to whisk until it thickens. Don't let it boil all the way. Whisk in 2 cups of cheese and salt/pepper until the cheese is fully melted.

4.) Pour sauce over the rice mixture. I mixed it up a bit so the sauce was fully incorporated into the rice, chicken and veggies. Top with the remaining shredded cheese. I added smoked paprika for color.

5.) Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until cheese is golden brown on top.
6.) Let cool for 5 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

Want to know more about cooking with Country Crock? Country Crock products:
  • Have 0g trans fat per serving
  • Contain no partially hydrogenated oils
  • Have no cholesterol
  • Are 70% less fat than butter per serving
  • Have 30% fewer calories than butter per servin
Visit Country Crock:

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Happy Birthday Couponing & Cooking! {$200 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway!}

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I cannot believe that Couponing & Cooking will be celebrating its 2nd birthday on Tuesday! When I first started out I could not imagine that I would ever have more than 12 readers or that I would make so many amazing blogging friendships along the way.

I know that I would have never stuck with this if it weren't for all of you who comment, pin, like, share and send happy thoughts my way when things get crazy. I could have never in my wildest dreams thought that this blog would become such a huge part of my life and who I am. I am eternally grateful to each and everyone of you.

To thank all of my amazing readers and supporters who have joined me for the last two years of fun, I wanted to giveaway something that I know everyone can use. I know that for me, Amazon money is just like cash because really, what can't you get on Amazon? And most of the time, there's free shipping too!

So join me in celebrating two fun/crazy/inspiring/stressful/wouldn't change it for the world years of blogging! The giveaway runs through midnight on Saturday September 21st so be sure to use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter. Be sure to stop by some of my amazing friends from Online BlogCon who have so generously helped me make this birthday celebration possible!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Saved 69% at Publix

After a busy week of shopping last week I decided to postpone my weekly Publix trip from Thursday until over the weekend. My grandparents were in town for the weekend so I never quite made it there until today. I am kind of glad I didn't go over the weekend because Justin and I finally got into a produce delivery/CSA type program so we really don't need to stock up on produce much anymore.

We are giving Affordable Organics a try this week and if we like it we are planning to sign up for an every other week full share of produce. It's $45 every two weeks but given what we will be getting I think it is a great way to spend part of our two week grocery budget.

I take out $160 in cash every pay day for all of our grocery and household spending for a two week pay period. Since I spent less than $50 a week usually it leaves me with a decent chunk of extra cash. I use that extra cash to pay for our twice yearly Zaycon chicken order, visits to the Farmers' Market and other random household expenses. I will now use that same cash for our produce share. For about $20 a week it will be well worth it to get fresh fruits and veggies and the pricing (for organic no less) is so much cheaper than it would be at the store : )

Today's Publix trip was mostly dairy, eggs, and pantry items (and bacon!). We are eating down the meat freezer again in anticipation of our forty pounds of Zaycon chicken arriving in October and of the turkey and ham sales that the holidays are sure to bring. I did two transactions so I could use two $5/$30 Winn Dixie coupons and I was thrilled to find tons of in store blinkie coupons and booklets. I actually had a $25 gift card to put towards what ended up being $27 out of pocket which means that we only really spent $2 today which makes paying for our first organic produce share tomorrow that much more affordable.

Breakdown of today's Publix trip:
Total retail value: $87.78
Total spent (before gift card): $27.24
Total saved: $60.54
Percent saved: 69%

What I got with sale/coupon match ups:
  •  4 boxes of Betty Crocker Cake Mix, retails for $1.89 each
  •  2 dozen Publix eggs, retails for $1.89 a dozen
  •  2 packages of Lance Xtrafuls Crackers, retails for $3.09
    • Used two $2.79 cents off coupons
    • Made them .30 cents per package (would be free at Target or Walmart but my stores were out of them...)
  •  2 boxes of Mueller Hidden Veggie Pasta, retails for $1.59 each, on sale BOGO (.79 cents each)
  •  5 Dannon Light & Fit Greek Yogurts, retails for $1.20 each, on sale for $1 each
    • Used a $1/5 blinkie in store coupon
    • Made them .80 cents each
  •  6 Stonyfield Organic Greek Yogurts, retails for $1.50 each, on sale for $1 each
    • Used three $1/2 in store blinkie coupons
    • Made them .50 cents each
  •  3 (one pound) packages of Smithfield Bacon, retails for $6.29 each
    • In store promo B2G1 Free, minus $6.29
    • Used three $1 off coupons from the 8/13 SS
    • Made them $3.19 each/a pound
  •  2 bags of Cascadian Farms Organic Frozen Veggies, retails for $2.49 each
  •  1 half gallon of Almond Breeze Almond Milk, retails for $3.29, on sale for $2.50 
  • 2 bags of Toasted Ritz Chips, retails for $3.69 each, on sale BOGO ($1.84 each)
    • Used a $1/2 peelie coupon found on bag in store
    • Made them $1.34 each
  •  2 boxes of Cascadian Farms Organic Granola Bars, $3.99 each
  •  2 bags of Sargento Shredded Cheese, retails for $4.39 a bag, on sale BOGO ($2.19 a bag)
    • Used a $1.50/2 Publix coupon from the in store Italian coupon booklet, or the 9/8 RP or printable HERE
    • Made them $1.44 a bag
     Make sure to come back later this week for my Weekly Shopping Totals link up! Be sure to enter my two amazing giveaways going on right now too. 

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Fall Flavors: 15 Breads & Muffins That Are Perfect For Fall

It might only be September but it's never too early to start baking like it's Fall. Nothing says cooler weather like hearty breads and muffins filled with flavors like pumpkin and apple. In honor of the leaves changing, I have put together a round up of 15 baked goods that are perfect for football brunches, family get togethers and hot drinks like apple cider, teas and hot chocolate.

 Many of these photos are not mine but I have rounded them up for you to enjoy. If you want to pin an individual recipe or specific photo please click through to the original post and share from there. If you want to pin this post and the entire collection just pin the collage above!


Want even more seasonal recipes? Check out my Fall Flavors Pinterest Board!

Friday, September 6, 2013

Fresh Savings Event & A $25 Publix Gift Card Giveaway!

Disclosure: The information and prize pack have been provided by Publix® through MyBlogSpark.

Have you checked out the current Fresh Savings Event at Publix yet? Right now you can save on fresh products like eggs, milk, meat, produce and bakery items just by buying things you already use from brands like Betty Crocker, Pepsi, General Mills and more.

You should be able to find the coupons on display in your local store. I love that these are coupons for items that we normally don't see savings for. My personal favorite has to be the coupon for FREE Publix eggs when you buy two boxes of Betty Crocker Cake Mix. We can never have enough cake mix in our house so free eggs will be on my shopping list this weekend : ) 

The promotion only lasts through September 12th so make sure to take advantage of it while it lasts. 

Want to save even more on your groceries? Thanks to My Blog Spark and Publix, one lucky reader will win a $25 Publix gift card! Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter. (Be patient, it may take a minute to load)

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Weekly Shopping Totals Link Up: Saved 65% At Target

After my very exciting and better than free Walmart trip on Sunday, I thought I wouldn't shop until my normal Publix trip. But then I took a peak at Totally Target and changed my mind. When I saw that there was a deal on Brita filters, I knew I had to go.

Brita filters are probably the one thing in the world that I hate buying/paying full price for. Don't get me wrong, I love our Brita pitcher and I know that we are saving money (and the environment buy not buying water all the time) but those filters are so expensive. Now we are set for the next 9-12 months so I can stop having nightmares about blowing our weekly household budget on carbon filled pieces of plastic.

I also took advantage of a few other good deals and I couldn't resist the frozen pizza deal. I love having them in our deep freezer for weekend nights when we don't feel like cooking and are too lazy/poor to go out.

My one functioning arm self is shopped out this week so I am postponing my Publix trip until the weekend. After a moneymaking trip to Walmart on Sunday and yesterday's Target trip I am only out of pocket $20 so I am one happy and under my weekly budget couponer.

Make sure to link up your shopping trips below and stop back on Saturday or Sunday for my trip from the new weekly Publix ad! And don't forget to enter the multiple giveaways I have going on right now!

Breakdown of yesterday's Target trip:
Total retail value: $68.71
Total spent: $24.29
Total saved: $44.42
Percent saved: 65%
 How did you do this week? Inspire me (and everyone else) with your amazing savings and deals this week. Please link up directly to your specific post. Do not link up to your blog's home page, giveaways, or etsy shops please. You can also "like" Couponing & Cooking on Facebook too! I would love it if you would link back to this post or grab my button from the sidebar : )

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Win A KitchenAid Stand Mixer & A Target Gift Card!

Happy Food Healthy Life's 30th Birthday Giveaway! Your chance to win a KitchenAid Stand Mixer and Target cash as well!

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Happy 30th Birthday to Holly from Happy Food, Healthy Life! Holly is one of the many amazing bloggers I have gotten to know through participating in Online BlogCon and a bunch of us have joined in to help her celebrate. 

This giveaway just happens to be for two of my favorite things in the whole world; a Kitchenaid Stand Mixer and a Target gift card!

Funny story behind my Kitchenaid Stand Mixer: I had wanted one for as long as I could remember but couldn't bring myself to buy one for no reason. My then boyfriend/now husband decided that since he wasn't ready to propose to me for my birthday in 2010 (even though we had been dating for 5 years) that he would buy me one of these babies to distract me from the lack of a diamond ring in my near future. 

Guess what? It worked. My Candy Apple Green Kitchenaid mixer kept me very happy until he proposed three months later. And even though it isn't true, I still joke that the reason I stuck around past the 5 year dating mark is thanks to that mixer : ) 

So, make sure you use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter to win one of your own plus a Target gift card so you can buy fun stuff to make with it. Make sure to do all your entries before the giveaway ends on 9/13. And while you're at it, please stop by Happy Food, Healthy Life and wish Holly a Happy Birthday! 

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Caramel Apple Cheesecake Dip

So apparently it is "fall" all around America. Target has the Pumpkin Spice M&M's and Candy Corn on display. People are putting out door wreaths and taking in summer patio furniture. Every other post on Pinterest is fall this or pumpkin that. But here in South Florida? It's humid, sunny and 90 degrees. Not quite my idea of fall.

One thing fall-ish I can get into are apple desserts. Not Hot Apple Cider type treats but cool, crisp apples and no need to turn on your oven treats. And this Caramel Apple Cheesecake Dip fits the bill.

This was actually the very first recipe I ever posted on the blog. And since Couponing & Cooking's 2nd birthday is rapidly approaching, I think it is high time I reposted this recipe with photos that don't look like they were taken in a root cellar.

Caramel Apple Cheesecake Dip is one of those recipes that people see set out at a party and are like, "Oh, apple dip how healthy!" And then they take one bite and realize that the only thing healthy about it is the apple slice they are using as a shovel to get the dip into their mouths.

And once the apples run out (and they inevitable will, because really, who ever gets the dip to dipper ratio right?) people will start using spoons, forks, knives, cookies or even their fingers if the evening gets late enough to scrape every last bit of caramel covered, powdered sugared, cream cheese off the plate. And why shouldn't they? The apples were healthy.

I got this recipe from a friend at a summer cookout and then have adapted it over the years. I make it at least once a month or more and each time it turns out a little bit different depending on what I have on hand. Feel free to spice it up with whatever toppings make you happy. And then serve it to your friends with a limited amount of apple slices and watch the social experiment begin : )

Caramel Apple Cheesecake Dip
  • 8 oz. brick of cream cheese softened
  • 6 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • caramel syrup (I find the caramel dip/topping to be a little too thick)
  • mini chocolate chips
  • Heath Bar Toffee Bits
  •  Granny Smith apple slices (I buy the presliced CrunchPak for ease)
1.) Beat together cream cheese and powdered sugar until smooth.

2.) Spread mixture onto a serving dish and smooth out into a thin layer.

3.) Sprinkle on chocolate chips and toffee bits.

4.) In a pretty pattern, drizzle on the caramel sauce to lightly coat the candy pieces.

5.) I chill it in the fridge for an hour or so before surrounding it with apple slices and serving it.


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