An Easy and Tasty Crockpot Meal

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Southwestern Barbeque Beef

Slow-Cooked Beef Sandwiches with a Southwestern Flair.

The ingredients are easy to acquire:

  • 1 beef chuck roast, 2-3 lbs. (I buy whatever is on sale and have never been disappointed)
  • 1 onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 can petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 can chicken broth
  • Fresh green chilies or 3 cans diced green chilies (the original recipe I modified called for 3 cans chipotle chilies in adobo, but we about burned our tongues off when eating it, so if you are a purist, consider yourself warned!)
  • 2 Tbsps chili powder
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1.5 cups your favorite sweet barbecue sauce (I like to use a chipotle flavored sauce to honor the chipotle chilies I am omitting)

All of these items, except perhaps the chipotle chilies are easy enough to acquire in any grocery store so you can purchase them before you leave home or from wherever you are camping.

Then, before you take off for your day of hiking, biking or just being outdoors, simply toss (gently, the barbecue sauce will make a real mess otherwise) all ingredients into the crock pot and cook on low 6 to 8 hours, until the meat is tender enough to shred. When the meat is done, simply remove it from pot and shred when it is cool enough to handle. Transfer the sauce to a large saucepan and reduce it to the thickness of barbecue sauce. Combine the sauce with the meat and serve this pulled beef on its own, in warm sandwich buns with dill pickles or in honor of its southwestern roots, in warm tortillas with sour cream. Accompanied with a small fresh salad or a few chips, this is a delicious satisfying meal. It is especially good for the cooler nights of spring and fall camping.

Shared by: Diane Berry in Woodall’s Family Camping Blog



Who Doesn’t Love Potatoes?

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How to Make a Perfect Baked Potato

Some great baked potato ideas.  Most of these will make a complete meal.  What a great thing to take on a camping trip.  Just throw the potatoes, wrapped in foil around the campfire while you prepare the goodies to go with them.

14 Delicious Ways to Make a Baked Potato a Meal

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Grocery Bill Too High?

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Try these money saving ideas.

According to the USDA, the average American family spends about $10,000 a year on groceries.

What if you could cut your grocery bill in half?

What would you do with an extra $5000 a year?

Maybe it’s time to get serious about grocery savings.

10 Grocery Saving Tips

  1. Set a Budget – Do you have any idea how much you’re spending each week at the grocery…make sure to add up every little trip! Now, cut that amount in half. It sounds scary, but it’s doable if you implement all of these grocery savings tips.
  2. Plan Your Meals – What’s for dinner? Plan you meals based on what you have and what’s on sale. Don’t plan on serving pork chops if they’re not on sale.
  3. Make a List – Grocery shopping without a list wastes time and money, so make a list and stick to it!
  4. Try The Grocery Game – They do the “homework” for you by finding the sales, coupons and unadvertised specials…you do the shopping and saving! The best time to buy? The Grocery Game says stock up when an item is on sale, and there’s a coupon. The Grocery Game – Cut Grocery Bills by 67% or more!
  5. Look at Price Per Unit – Price per unit is what really matters. How can you compare the price of a 16-ounce package of lunchmeat to a 9-ounce package of lunchmeat without knowing the price per ounce? At first glance, the 9-ounce package might look like the better deal because it’s only $2, but the 16-ounce package at $3.25 is really the better buy. Look closely at the tiny print on the shelf tag, and you’ll find price per ounce, price per lb. or price per unit.
  6. Shop Warehouse Clubs – Deals exist at warehouse clubs but duds do too! This is another case where you really need to know your cost per unit, so you can compare that box of 40 granola bars with the box of 10 granola bars at your grocery. Check out my price comparison field trip to Costco and Sam’s.
  7. Don’t Be Brand Loyal – Did you just buy another jar of Hellmann’s mayo without comparing prices? Brand loyalty is a budget buster. If you can’t live without a certain brand, make an effort to stock up on it during a sale.
  8. Buy Store Brands – If there’s only one grocery saving tip to try, this is it! Simply switching to store brands will cut your grocery bill by 25%…no coupons required!
  9. Stock Up – If there’s an amazing buy on an item you use regularly, stock up for 3 months! Most grocery sales run on 12 week cycles meaning they won’t repeat again for 3 more months.
  10. Look for Manager’s Specials – When meat and dairy products are about to expire, many grocery stores will mark them way down (about 75% off!) in an effort to avoid waste. If you can use it before the expiration, go for it and enjoy the huge savings! Remember, you can freeze most meats for 12 months. Kroger sells rotisserie chickens for half price after 8:00, and Meijer sells precut deli lunchmeat for half price after 8:00!

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Like to Eat Out? Here’s A Way To Do It Cheaper

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Try these 8 easy tips for saving money when eating out. It really is possible to never pay full price at restaurants, but you’ll have to make a little effort and plan ahead if you want to eat out cheap!

  1. Discounted Gift Cards – Stock up on discounted gift cards for your favorite restaurants or buy discounted gift cards for restaurants you’d like to try. How about a $50 California Pizza Kitchen gift card for just $42 or a $50 Cheesecake Factory Gift Card for only $44.50?Save up to 35%! Buy discounted restaurant gift cards from Plastic Jungle.The selection of restaurant gift cards changes daily, but you’ll always find plenty to choose from! Discounted restaurant gift cards are great for vacations if you know which chain restaurants will be available at your destination.
  2. Groupon – Restaurants are frequently on Groupon, and the savings can be as much as 50%! Get in the habit of checking Groupon which can always be found on the right side of this page. It’s a great way to try new restaurants in your area and save money!
  3. Kids Eat Free – If you have children, take a moment to check out the website You can search by city and state to discover all the free kids meals in your neighborhood.
  4. Coupons on Restaurant Websites – Many restaurant websites have a free printable coupon waiting for you, and even more restaurants will send you coupons via email if you sign up for their newsletter. It’s worth your time to visit the websites of your favorite restaurants.
  5. Twitter – Take a moment to follow your favorite restaurants on twitter! Restaurants like Papa John’s, Outback and Quizno’s have been known to regularly give out freebies to their followers.
  6. – More than 15,000 restaurants participate in’s $25 restaurant gift certificates for only $10! If you look on the right side of this page, you’ll always see the latest deal which can make a $25 gift certificate as little as $2!
  7. Birthday Freebies – Check out The Budget Diet’s list of Birthday Freebies! Think BIG, think beyond just a free dessert! You’ll find generous offers like a free $30 gift certificate from Benihana or a FREE Grand Slam Breakfast from Denny’s. Even better, many of these restaurants not only send you a free coupon on your birthday, but they will also send you a coupon the very day you sign up! Most offers do not require you use the coupon on your birthday, so load up and enjoy lots of freebies!
  8. – Restaurants want their tables filled, and you want to eat out cheap… puts you together.  Currently is in 20 cities (more coming soon), and discounts are 30% – 40%.


There you have it, 8 easy ways to save money eating out! Remember, with all great deals you must read the fine print. Groupon and often restrict the days and times that you can redeem your certificate and other restrictions may apply.

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Do You Love Your Dutch Oven?

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Many Rver’s and lots of Campers love to cook outside in a Dutch Oven.  Here is a great recipe to try.  White Bean and Chicken Sausage Stew.



White Bean & Chicken Sausage Stew

Serves 6 to 8. Freezes well.

1 pound dried small white beans, such as Vallarta Beans from Rancho Gordo
1 tablespoon olive oil
6 ounces cooked chicken sausage, such as Applegate Farms Organic Fire Roasted Red Pepper Sausage, diced
2 large stalks celery, diced
2 large carrots, peeled and finely diced
1 large onion, diced
6 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 bay leaves
3 tablespoons cider vinegar

The night before you want to cook this soup, soak the beans by placing them in a bowl and covering them completely with cold water.

The next day, heat the oven to 300°F. Heat the olive oil in a large (4-quart or larger) Dutch oven or heavy pot over medium heat. Add the sausage and turn the heat up to medium-high. Cook, stirring frequently, until the sausage has browned — about 10 minutes. Stir in the diced celery, carrots, onion, and garlic and cook over medium heat for another 10 minutes until they are soft. Drain the beans and stir them into the vegetables.

Pour in the chicken stock and an additional 4 cups water. Season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and a generous quantity of black pepper. Drop in the bay leaves. Bring the soup to a boil, then cover and put in the oven.

Cook for 2 to 3 hours in the oven, or until the beans are very soft and creamy. (Time can vary widely depending on the size of beans you use.)

The soup can also be cooked on the stovetop over low flame. It will need a similar amount of timing for cooking, and should also be cooked with the lid on. Check a little more frequently to make sure the bottom isn’t scorching.

Stir in the cider vinegar and salt to taste (I used about 1 1/2 teaspoons). Continue cooking for another 20 to 30 minutes, or until the beans have absorbed some of the salt.

Serve with fresh crusty bread. Leftovers freeze well.

Courtesy of