Our Thanksgiving Menu with Grocery List/Savings


Seems like every year our Thanksgiving plans change for some reason or another. This year, I am happy to host it at our house with My Mom and brother and sister. We will head to Mississippi to have Thanksgiving leftover turkey sandwiches with Will’s family on Friday. I’m not some fancy cook, I don’t have tons of time or patience to spend in the kitchen and I hate recipes with more than a handful of ingredients. It always turns out great and stress-free. My kind of day. Will and I will be running the Turkey Trot on Thursday morning, and it’s a good thing because I am already salivating just while making my grocery list. I. Can’t. Wait. Here’s a glimpse of what our Thanksgiving eats look like.

Our Thanksgiving Menu:

Pimento Cheese Appetizer – As you have probably figured out by now, this is a staple in our house. You can find the recipe here.

7 Layer Salad – My Grandmother always made this anytime we would all get together. My Mom will make it this year. I will share the recipe with you guys soon.

Deviled Eggs – My Mom will make these too.

Ham – we will do Turkey with Will’s family on Friday, my family are more of Ham eaters, and we will cheat and get one from HoneyBaked Ham.

Stuffing and Gravy – I use this stuffing recipe.

Cranberry Sauce – Don’t judge, I use the can. oops.

Green Bean Casserole – I use the Classic Campbell’s Recipe.

Mashed Potatoes – We make these from scratch with red potatoes and lots of milk and butter and occasionally I will toss some Greek yogurt in there too when nobody is looking.

Sweet Potato Casserole – I will post my recipe tomorrow. Its so good and SO easy.

Corn – I’m a vegetable girl. I prefer vegetables over meat so I like to have to make all different kinds.

Sweet Peas – more veggies

Mac-n-Cheese – It’s for the kids, ya’ll. (maybe the husband, too)

Rolls – Sister Schubert’s all the way

Salted Caramel Brownie Dessert – Ya’ll know how much I love me some Mix and Match Mama. I’m becoming equally obsessed with her collaborative blog over at Everyday Cheer. She posted this recipe over there this week and I cannot wait to make it!

Strawberry Cake – also another staple in our house. You can get the recipe here.

Sweet Tea – it speaks for itself. Get in my belly!

As many of you know and most of you probably don’t, I’m a couponing nerd. I’m not so much of an “extreme couponer” where I only buy stuff that is on sale or free etc. I just make my list then search for coupons that match my list of things we need. I do get the paper every Sunday and clip from there, I use target.com coupons , the Target mobile app, the Shopkick app, The Target Cartwheel app and I often print from SmartSource and Coupons.com. And, I read TotallyTarget.com and TargetSavers.com like my little couponing bible.

I already had some things in the pantry that some of the recipes call for so here is my grocery list of things needed to make Thanksgiving a hit at the Parker house. I’m sure, as always, that I’ve left something off. Just another excuse to go to Target, right? 🙂

Thanksgiving Grocery List:

Eggs – 5% off with Target’s Cartwheel app

Butter – 5% off with Target’s Cartwheel app

Sea Salt – 20% off with Target’s Cartwheel app

Cornflakes – 10% off with Target’s Cartwheel app

Mini Marshmallows – 10% off with Target’s Cartwheel app

1 can c/o Chicken Soup – $1 off any 5 Campbell’s condensed soups manufactuer coupon + 5% off with Target’s Cartwheel app

2 cans seasoned corn – $1 off Del Monte seasoned vegetables manufacturer coupon + 10% off with Target’s Cartwheel app

**4 cans green beans – .50 off any 4 Del Monte canned vegetables manufacturer coupon + 10% off with Target’s Cartwheel app

**4 cans of c/o Mushroom Soup – $1 off any 5 Campbell’s condensed soups manufactuer coupon + 5% off with Target’s Cartwheel app

**(2) French’s French Fried Onions – .50 off Manufacturer coupon *use 2* + 5% off with Target’s Cartwheel app

**I also stacked 2 Target web coupons of $1 off when you purchase all 3 of the above

(3) Block of cheese – $1.25 with purchase of 3 MP cheeses from target.com + 5% off with Target’s Cartwheel app

bag red potatoes – 15% off with Target’s Cartwheel app

Vanilla instant pudding mix

cool whip – 20% off with Target’s Cartwheel app

(2) brownie mixes – $1 off with purchase of 2 Pillsbury baking items + 5% off with Target’s Cartwheel app

2 boxes of wheat thins – .75 off with purchase of 2 MP crackers from target.com + 5% off with Target’s Cartwheel app

caramel topping

(3) cans of  gravy – .75 off with the purchase of 3 MP canned gravy Target coupon that I got at the store from a previous checkout + 5% off with Target’s Cartwheel app

(2) Sister Schubert’s Rolls – .50 off manufacturer coupon *use 2*

mac-n-cheese – 10% off with Target’s Cartwheel app

cranberry sauce

chicken broth – 5 % off with Target’s Cartwheel app

celery and an onion -you could use $1 off fresh vegetable purchase coupon from Target mobile coupons but I’ve already used mine 😦

(3) Boxed stuffing mix – $1 off with purchase of 3 MP stuffing mixes Target coupon that I got from the store at a previous checkout + 5% off with Target’s Cartwheel app

(3) boxed Instant Potatoes – $1.25 with purchase of 3 MP instant potatoes Target coupon that I got from the store at a previous checkout + 10% off with Target’s Cartwheel app

Non related Thanksgiving items that were purchased:

Black Beans

Tortillas – 10% off with Target’s Cartwheel app

Truvia – – $1 off target web coupon stacked with .75 off manufacturer coupon

Spaghetti o’s – 5% off with Target’s Cartwheel app

Pancakes – 5% off with Target’s Cartwheel app

2 Colgate toothbrushes – $1 off Colgate oral care item (use 2) *These are marked down to .94 right now at Target so both toothbrushes will be free. Hello Stocking Stuffer*

{I also used the $10 off Food or beverage purchase of $50 or more Target mobile coupon and my Target Red Card for an extra 5% off my total purchase}

So…I went into the store with 4 things on my list that I didn’t have coupons for. Here’s how my total shaped up:

All Items total at checkout: $95.28

Item total after using all coupons and discounts: $55.73

Total Savings of: $39.55

A pretty successful shopping trip, if I do say so myself and it happened with all 3 kids in tow and no major meltdowns. SCORE!

What are some staples on your Thanksgiving menu? Do you share the day with Family or Friends, or both? Any secret or not so secret couponers out there like myself?




June Meal Plan

Is it really June?! Hello Summer! Where has the first 5 months of this year gone?

I don’t know about you, but I have a really hard time meal planning in the warm months. We spend a majority of our day outside and nothing ever sounds wonderful at the end of a long, hot day and the last place you want to be is in the kitchen cooking! We are out of town every weekend but one this month so I broke my meal plan down by weeks. It just seemed easier. Here it is:

June 2-6

    • Hamburgers – I used 3lbs. ground beef, one dry Italian seasoning packet, salt, pepper, onion and garlic powder to taste with a couple of tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce. We found these instructions for “The Perfect Burger” a while back and we have used it ever since when grilling. The burgers really do turn out great everytime! I eat mine sans bun with A1 sauce…


  • Roasted Red Pepper and Ranch Pasta (I am going to add Chicken to this recipe) – recipe found here
  • Shrimp and Grits – This is such an easy, quick weeknight meal. I totally cheat by using a bag of medium frozen shrimp. I sauté it with some onion, butter, salt, pepper and minced garlic. I throw a couple of packets of grits on the stove and you are done. We usually pair it with Texas Toast or Biscuits.

June 10-13

    • French Dip – recipe found here
    • Spaghetti
    • Pizza – as in Little Caesar’s new deep dish pepperoni for $8. A new family favorite around here. If you haven’t tried it, go get one now…you’ll thank me later!


June 17-20

  • Sourcream Chicken – my mom’s recipe. I’ll do a post on it this month.
  • Tacos
  • Stirfry

June 24-28

  • Chicken and Dumplings – yes, again. Recipe found here
  • Kabobs
  • Sloppy Joes – Recipe found here

What’s on your menu this month?!


Derby de Mayo

Happy Cinco de Mayo!!

We celebrated last night with some friends so I guess it was technically a Happy Cuatro de Mayo from us!! Around here we look for any excuse to have a get together and with our crazy schedules they seem few and far between. With a nasty, rainy weekend and all of outdoor activities canceled (soccer, baseball) it was a perfect afternoon/night to hang out with 2 of our favorite couples! No excuses. Although, I do wish the weather would have cooperated a little bit so some back patio fun could be had. Oh well. Beggars cant be choosers, right? It just so happens the Kentucky Derby was yesterday too. I love watching all the pre stuff. The big hats, the celebrities, the horses names… I am very intrigued by the whole process. We all had our certain horses we were pulling for. Though none of them won, it was fun having a horse to root for. Here are some of my favorite and not so favorite Kentucky Derby looks from yesterday:
139th Kentucky Derby - Arrivals
Does Lauren Conrad ever do wrong? I vote no. She always looks so simple and classy.
139th Kentucky Derby - Arrivals
Not really loving either one of the outfits here but they are such a pretty couple, I just couldn’t resist.
139th Kentucky Derby - Arrivals
Joey, Joey, Joey. No, No, No.
(pics from http://www.gossipcop.com/2013-kentucky-derby-celebrities-photos-famous-celebs-pictures-stars-pics/#21)

Now, back to our little hoorah, minus the hats. We are just as cool as celebrities, I swear.

The Menu:


Guacamole Dip – brought by Erin

7 Layer dip – brought by Courtney

Dump and Stir Mexican Dip – I used this recipe: http://www.tasteandtellblog.com/dum-and-stir-mexican-dip/

Fruit Salsa with Cinnamon Chips – I used this recipe minus the fruit preserves: http://www.funcheaporfree.com/2011/06/foodie-tuesday-recipe-fruit-salsa-w.html

Taco Salads – I used this recipe for cooking the meat in the crockpot that I found on Pinterest. Why have I never done this before?? SO easy! http://www.aroundmyfamilytable.com/2010/10/slow-cooker-taco-meat/ and perfect for a get together where you want your food to stay hot for a while. Genius! I used store bought taco salad shells and set out some Cheese, Sour Cream, Lettuce, Tomato and Salsa for a fun, yummy and easy Taco Salad Bar.

Some Virgin Margarita’s for the preggo gals and some Bud Light Lime and Bud Light Lime-a-Rita’s for those that get to celebrate this holiday the right way! 🙂






Strawberry Cake – not really a Mexican dish but I was craving it and figured this was a good excuse to make one! I used this recipe: http://www.callmepmc.com/2012/09/easy-strawberry-cake/ with 2 tubs of store bought cream cheese frosting, I whipped the frosting with the mixer and added some fresh strawberries.




I think we all ate until we thought we were going to pop. It was such a great time hanging out with wonderful friends and watching 2 minutes and 30 seconds of something they hype up all day long. Dang “Overanalyzed” didn’t pull out the W for me. Oh well.

Sweet Erin and Emmie. Erin is due one week after me with a baby girl, too! so fun!!

This guy is never far from the food table.

and this one… never far from the sweets.

Sweet Friends. Seriously, the best.

While I cleaned the kitchen, I turned around to find this…

Wouldn’t have it any other way…my cup runneth over.

And, that’s how we spent our Kentucky Derby Saturday/Cinco de Mayo celebration. What did you do? Any favorite traditions or recipes?! I’d love to hear!


May Meal Plan

Rabbit, Rabbit. It’s May 1st.

Is it just me or is this year FLYING by?? Time, slow down a little. May brings lots of fun stuff for the Parker family. We have weddings, end of school programs (I won’t go on and on about how my big boy is graduating preschool *tear*), luncheons, anniversaries, birthdays, baseball, soccer, swimming lessons and my favorite … the beginning of LAKE SEASON!! From Memorial Day until Baby D’s arrival that’s where you will find us on the weekends and I cannot wait! So, needless to say with all that we have going on, it means less meal planning and cooking for this mama. I’ll take it. Here’s what’s on the menu this month:

  • Meatball Sliders


  • Taco Pizza


  • Chicken Pot Pie


  • Chicken, Mushroom, Broccoli and Rice Casserole


  • Skinny Sour Cream Enchiladas


  • Burgers — it’s almost summer time which means we are outside until dark on most days. So we LOVE to grill. I’m thinking I may do the burgers on the Sister Shubert wheat rolls instead of buns this time for a little twist.
  • Chicken and Dumplings – yup, the same recipe I posted last month and went on and on about. I’m pregnant, remember. We find something we like and eat it over and over and over until we cant eat it anymore. Which, is exactly what I plan on doing with these Chicken and Dumplings.


  • Sausage, Potatoes and Green Bean Foil Packets – I saw this on Pinterest as a camping/grilling recipe. I think I am just going to throw it all in the crock pot though and call it a day. Simple and delicious.


  • Fried Green Tomato BLT’s
  • Breakfast for dinner
  • Spaghetti
  • Tacos

Now on to make the dreaded grocery list and tackle the grocery store with 2 kiddos that would rather be anywhere else. Wish me luck!




April Meal Plan

April… already? Wow. March Madness was in full effect at our house and I am not talking about Basketball. But, speaking of basketball…I am numero uno in our bracket. I am so enjoying the bragging rights…hoping I can stay that way until the end but thinking my cousin, Rachel, is going to pull out the win 😦 So, I’m basking in the glory while I can.

photo (1)

See that? Me, “Clueless”, number 1 and that’s right… The husband is in last place! Go Me!! 🙂

Now, back to our own March Madness. Baseball and Soccer are in full swing with HAP practicing 4-5 days a week for one or the other. We had a wedding, weekend travels and a nasty stomach bug that resulted in a false labor/dehydration/hospital stay. Needless to say our March budget and meal plan was non existent. It happens. I’m hoping April is nicer to us…PLEASE!

photo 1

I don’t wear “dehydration” well. There’s proof, right there. Gross.

With March behind us, let’s see what I’ll be cooking up for April. April is equally filled with baseball, soccer and weekends away which has left me only having to plan 9 meals for the month. You’ll notice the majority of them are crockpot meals. Easy to throw everything in in the mornings and have it ready when we are home from practice. Here they are with recipes linked in:

Bacon Ranch Chicken ( http://crockingirls.com/recipes/bacon-ranch-chicken/ )

Beef Tips & Gravy ( http://crockingirls.com/recipes/beef-tips-and-gravy/ )

French Dip Sandwiches ( http://crockingirls.com/recipes/french-dip-sandwiches/ )

Homemade Pizza

Chicken and Steak Fajitas

Chicken & Dumplings ( http://www.mixandmatchmama.blogspot.com/2012/09/dinner-tonight-chicken-and-dumplings.html ) Seriously, the best chicken and dumplings I’ve ever made/tasted. I’m eating them as I type this…See…

photo 2

I’ve tried a million C&D recipes and this one takes the cake BY FAR! It’s so easy and perfect in every way. Go make it.. NOW!

photo 3

Broccoli & Sausage Ravioli ( http://www.mixandmatchmama.blogspot.com/2013/01/dinner-tonight-broccoli-and-sausage.html )


Pork Tenderloin with Roasted Veggies

That’s it. Easy month. The first 3 recipes were from “The Crockin’ Girls” ( http://crockingirls.com ) . I love their stuff and you can never go wrong with their recipes. They are easy and family friendly. The other 2 recipes I linked are from Mix and Match Mama ( http://mixandmatchmama.com ). There are many things I love about Shay. #1 if you are a fan of “The Bachelor” , then you know she is Sean Lowe’s sister. #2 She has an adorable family, a great faith and she shares many details about both in her blog. And, #3 She has GREAT recipes. Easy, budget and kid/family friendly. If you aren’t following her blog, you should be.

Anyway, that’s all folks…I’ll do better with this blog thing this month.




Butterfinger Cake

Butterfinger Cake

This was a staple in my house growing up. My mom made it for every special occasion and it has quickly become my go to when we go over to friend’s houses for dinner or have people over. It’s so simple yet so delicious.


Box of German Chocolate Cake Mix

1 tub of whipped topping (the regular sized tub)

1 Jar of Caramel topping

1 can of sweetened condensed milk

2 regular sized Butterfingers’

photo 1

Mix cake mix according to box and pour into baking pan.

photo 2

Hide in the pantry and lick the bowl so you don’t have to share with your kids. (necessary step)

photo 3

Bake according to box’s directions.

photo 1

While waiting on cake to bake, crush Butterfingers’ in a Ziploc bag.

photo 4

Remove from oven and let cool SLIGHTLY.

photo 2

Poke holes in the slightly cooled cake with a butter knife.

photo 1

Pour the sweetened condensed milk and caramel over the entire cake.

photo 2 photo 3

photo 4photo 1

Let cake sit and cool completely to soak in all of the sweetened condensed milk and caramel into the inside of the cake.

photo 2

Once cake is completely cooled, top with whipped topping and butterfingers. It is ready to serve immediately but I prefer it after it has been refrigerated. YUMMO!!

photo 3


Butterfinger Cake


Box of German Chocolate Cake Mix

1 tub of whipped topping (the regular sized tub)

1 Jar of Caramel topping

1 can of sweetened condensed milk

2 regular sized Butterfingers’


Mix cake mix according to box and pour into baking pan. Hide in the pantry and lick the bowl so you don’t have to share with your kids (necessary step). Bake according to box’s directions. While waiting on cake to bake, crush Butterfingers’ in a Ziploc bag. Remove from oven and let cool SLIGHTLY. Poke holes in the slightly cooled cake with a butter knife. Pour the sweetened condensed milk and caramel over the entire cake. Let cake sit and cool completely to soak in all of the sweetened condensed milk and caramel into the inside of the cake. Once cake is completely cooled, top with whipped topping and butterfingers. It is ready to serve immediately but I prefer it after it has been refrigerated. YUMMO!!



February Meal Plan

Well hello there, February. 10 days in and I am finally getting around to making my meal and grocery lists for the month. Better late than never, I guess. My kids and husband are about to starve while eating PB&J’s everyday. They actually, may never eat them again:


case in point.

2013 has been very busy for us so far and I don’t see it slowing down anytime soon. I noticed when searching my recipes for this month that they are all quick, easy and not more than 4 or 5 ingredients. So, if you are coming here looking for some fancy meals and meal plan…wrong place. With wednesday night church, soccer and baseball season in full swing, I am just lucky if we are all around the kitchen table at the same time most nights. And, let’s be honest, with a picky eating husband and 2 kids, I’m really just happy if I can find something everyone will eat.

This months meals (with recipes):

Margaret’s Chicken Recipe – It’s just that, an excellent chicken recipe from Will’s Aunt Margaret. Recipe to come.

Smothered Pork Chops (Recipe found here: http://www.campbellskitchen.com/Recipes/RecipeDetails?recipeid=25085&fm=internal_search )

Broccoli Cheese Soup (Recipe found here: http://www.familybalancesheet.org/2011/11/broccoli-cheese-soup-slow-cooker-recipe.html ) I cut this recipe in half.

Crockpot Cheese Tortellini (Recipe found here: http://littlefellows.blogspot.com/2011/11/best-crockpot-meal-ive-tried-yet.html and photo credit)




Wofpack Specials (Recipe found here: http://www.ncagr.gov/markets/gottoberecipes/jan12.html )

Homemade Pizzas – Sometimes I make our own dough, but this month I am just buying the premade kind. The boys like to do cheese and pepperoni while will and I like to do chicken and peppers and any other yummy stuff we have laying around. It’s always a family favorite dinner night.

Crockpot Chicken and Sweet Potatoes (Recipe found here: http://www.igobogo.com/Portal/featured-articles/crockpot-chicken-and-sweet-potatoes-recipe/ )

Mamaw’s Salmon – My grandmother made the best Salmon. I will post recipe soon.

Thank God its Sunday AND my father-in-law is in town. I’m dragging the husband to the grocery store with me sans kids. Happy Mama!! 🙂