Frugality Gal http://frugalitygal.com Life on a Budget Tue, 07 Jul 2015 10:02:35 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.1.5 6 Tips for Saving Money on Groceries When Life Gets Hectic http://frugalitygal.com/2015/07/save-money-on-groceries.html http://frugalitygal.com/2015/07/save-money-on-groceries.html#respond Tue, 07 Jul 2015 10:02:35 +0000 http://frugalitygal.com/?p=3002 Realistic tips for staying within your grocery budget and still saving money on groceries even when life gets a little hectic!

I often talk about planning ahead for busy times in order to save money on groceries. But sometimes, life just sneaks up on you and you won’t have the time to set aside a meal prep day, or do freezer cooking or meal planning. And that’s okay! © SkyLine / Dollar Photo Club Life happens. [...]

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Realistic tips for staying within your grocery budget and still saving money on groceries even when life gets a little hectic!

I often talk about planning ahead for busy times in order to save money on groceries. But sometimes, life just sneaks up on you and you won’t have the time to set aside a meal prep day, or do freezer cooking or meal planning. And that’s okay!

© SkyLine / Dollar Photo Club

Life happens. And since I’m currently in a state of transition, it is happening quite a bit lately for us. So here are a few of my tips for saving money on groceries even when we don’t have much time to dedicate to our usual frugal efforts.

1. Prioritize your Tasks

If we really try, we can usually spare a few minutes every couple of days to keep our budgets in check. Things like making beans in your crockpot take almost no hands-on time at all and it will save you at least 50% over the cost of store-bought beans! Another frugal thing I always try to prioritize is making sure breakfast is dealt with ahead of time.

For the last few months I’ve been making homemade oatmeal packets in bulk –takes just a few minutes and breakfast is handled for the entire month! Here’s a post I did on 15 Make-Ahead Breakfast ideas if you’d like some more frugal breakfast ideas. If you only have a few minutes to spare here and there, make them count and tend to the areas that will affect your budget the most!

2. Be Okay with the Next-Best-Thing

I think many of us get into the habit of thinking “if it’s not homemade, it’s not frugal” and while that may sometimes be true, it isn’t always the case. Life doesn’t always allow us to be in tiptop money-saving mode. And when that happens, it’s so important to know your habits!

Fight the urge to think with rose-colored glasses and think reasonably about what your worst case scenario may look like and plan for THAT. Best case? You were right and you totally wouldn’t have had time for anything else. Worst case? You just bought yourself a little breathing room and may be able to spend more time on something else.

3. Keep it Simple

The simplest meals are often the most frugal meals! Rice and beans, baked chicken and veggies, spaghetti with homemade meat sauce –all frugal staples, and all ready in under 30 minutes! My go-to on super busy weeks is to cook as many one-dish baked meals as possible and lining the baking dish with foil. This typically requires very little hands-on time and clean up.

These simple frugal staples mixed in with crockpot meals, anything I can pull from the freezer and some of our favorite under 10-minute meals like BLTs or tomato sandwiches allows me to put home-cooked food on the table most nights, even if it’s nothing fancy or blog-worthy!

4. Set Yourself up for the Best Deal

Go to the store with a few frugal tricks up your sleeve. Shop loss leaders, always look at the price per ounce to see if something is truly a good deal and look to the bottom shelves first to find the cheapest options.

These are all things that I do each time I’m shopping, but I do prefer to shop at Aldi when possible because most things are a better deal than my other local options. So if you have an Aldi or a similar store locally, I definitely recommend saving yourself the work and shopping there!

Check out this post: 30 Things to Buy at Aldi

5. Recycle Old Meal Plans

I shared this little nugget on my friend Missy’s blog recently. I’ll let you head over to read the full tip, but to sum it up –I recycle my old meal plans from prior weeks when I know I won’t have time to make a fresh new meal plan. Head on over to Missy’s blog to hear more on this tip and read the 4 time-saving meal planning tips I shared as well!

6. Use Cash-Back Apps

Download cash-back apps like Checkout 51 to earn cash-back on groceries. I don’t recommend changing your shopping list excessively just to accommodate a deal you can earn cash-back on. But if all you have to do is choose a different brand, it’s usually worth it to earn a little extra on something you’d be purchasing anyway.


I’d love for you to share your own tips for staying on saving money on groceries when life’s a little hectic in the comments below!


 

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5 Frugal Things I Did Last Month – June http://frugalitygal.com/2015/07/frugal-things-last-month.html http://frugalitygal.com/2015/07/frugal-things-last-month.html#respond Thu, 02 Jul 2015 10:02:58 +0000 http://frugalitygal.com/?p=3010 Frugal living principles applied to real life. Here are 5 frugal things I did last month.

Our move took over last month’s Frugal Things I Did Last Month post, and it’s happening again this month. But I swear, next month we’ll be back to being fully settled so things will look a lot more normal this time next month! So here are a few frugal things we did last month. 1. [...]

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Frugal living principles applied to real life. Here are 5 frugal things I did last month.

Our move took over last month’s Frugal Things I Did Last Month post, and it’s happening again this month. But I swear, next month we’ll be back to being fully settled so things will look a lot more normal this time next month! So here are a few frugal things we did last month.

1. Sold furniture on FB.

We sold some of our furniture in Facebook groups. Selling in FB groups is a completely different experience than selling on Craiglist! Everyone we met was super nice and friendly and there was no haggling or negotiation involved. It almost felt like we were selling our used stuff to our neighbors. We didn’t get rid of all of the items we were hoping to, but we earned just shy of what we needed to pay for our hotel stay during the move, which left us only having to pay for gas and food out-of-pocket while on the road.

2. Ate from the pantry.

We made an effort to eat most of what was left in the kitchen. The priority was to get through most of what was in the freezer since the pricier things like meat, veggies and some freezer meals were still in there. This meant that we ate some pretty interesting meals some nights! There were some items in the fridge that we had to toss, but overall I think it went well. Though we did end up eating out more than we expected in the last few days before the move.

3. Meal planned in advanced.

This is probably the smartest thing I did last month! I knew we would not be in money-saving mode when we arrived to our new city, so I took the time to create a meal plan in advanced. The meal plan was based around easy meals that wouldn’t take very much hands-on time from me because settling into a new home always takes longer than you expect!
Note: Meal planning services like Frugal Real Food Meal Plan will plan out your entire monthly meal plan for under $10!

4. Free packing filler.

When we started packing our breakables we realized we had nothing to protect them. So we ripped up old magazines and used them as packing filler and we used grocery bags to protect our breakables (e.g. wrapping grocery bags around a vase). It definitely wasn’t perfect, but it worked and it was free. Moving is already pretty expensive and we opted to purchase new moving boxes for this move, so we’ll take the savings where we can get them!

5. Made freezer meals.

A loved one hasn’t been feeling well lately, so I made her some freezer meals. We had already packed most of our kitchen tools away when I got the idea to do this, so I had to think outside of the box. I decided to portion out healthy frozen foods like vegetables, brown rice and cooked chicken and plated them into dinner-sized portions. I used takeout containers that we purchased from the dollar store and double wrapped each container in plastic wrap and freezer bags to make sure they froze well! Of course, I would have preferred to make everything from scratch, but this worked out surprisingly well and on a per meal basis was actually extremely frugal!


So what frugal things did you do last month?


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Crockpot Lasagna Recipe http://frugalitygal.com/2015/06/crockpot-lasagna-recipe.html http://frugalitygal.com/2015/06/crockpot-lasagna-recipe.html#respond Tue, 30 Jun 2015 10:02:00 +0000 http://frugalitygal.com/?p=2554 Super easy slow cooker recipe - crockpot lasagna with kale! Such a simple, hearty and hands-off meal.

This crockpot lasagna recipe is a wonderfully lazy spin on a classic comfort food. This easy slow cooker lasagna recipe makes the process almost completely hands-off. You don’t even have to boil the noodles ahead of time! I tried to use lighter ingredients, but I wouldn’t go as far as calling it a healthy lasagna recipe since there’s [...]

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Super easy slow cooker recipe - crockpot lasagna with kale! Such a simple, hearty and hands-off meal.

This crockpot lasagna recipe is a wonderfully lazy spin on a classic comfort food. This easy slow cooker lasagna recipe makes the process almost completely hands-off. You don’t even have to boil the noodles ahead of time!

I tried to use lighter ingredients, but I wouldn’t go as far as calling it a healthy lasagna recipe since there’s plenty of cheese involved.

Crockpot Lasagna Ingredients:

  • 16 oz. lean ground turkey
  • 8 oz lasagna noodles (about 12 noodles)
  • 8 oz. of kale greens, removed from stem
  • 4 cups low moisture, part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 15 oz. part skim ricotta cheese
  • Large jar marinara sauce (or pasta sauce of your choice), approximately 24 oz.
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp. minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp. Italian seasoning, divided
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Recipe inspired by Crockin’ Girls

This post will be pretty picture heavy, so I’m including the printable recipe here at the top for those of you that are in a hurry!

Crockpot Lasagna Recipe
 
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 8 to 10 generous servings
Ingredients
  • 16 oz. lean ground turkey
  • 8 oz lasagna noodles (about 12 noodles)
  • 8 oz. of kale, removed from stem
  • 4 cups low moisture, part skim mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 15 oz part skim ricotta cheese
  • Large jar marinara sauce (or pasta sauce of your choice), approximately 24 oz.
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp Italian seasoning, divided
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Cook ground turkey, onion and garlic in a pan until meat has browned, seasoning with ½ tbsp Italian seasoning and salt and pepper. Once cooked, combine with marinara sauce.
  2. Combine ricotta cheese, egg and 2 cups of mozzarella cheese. Stir in salt, pepper and remaining Italian seasoning.
  3. Rinse uncooked lasagna noodles under water, being sure to wet both sides, set aside.
  4. Begin assembling the crockpot lasagna by greasing the slow cooker with a bit of nonstick spray or with a bit of olive oil.
  5. Place an even layer of the meat mixture on the bottom of the crockpot, being sure to cover the bottom completely.
  6. Add a layer of lasagna noodles. If you have a round or oval crockpot you will need to break some noodles in order to create an even covering of noodles throughout the layer.
  7. Next smear cheese mixture over lasagna noodles. Then add a layer of kale.
  8. Repeat order until final top layer is the ricotta cheese mixture. Then sprinkle the top with an even covering of the remaining mozzarella cheese. *
  9. Cover crockpot, and place on low for three to four hours; the precise cook time will vary on the temperature settings of your specific slow cooker.
  10. * If you'd prefer both a crispy and gooey top layer of cheese (as pictured), reserve a handful of shredded mozzarella and sprinkle over the top create an extra gooey cheesy center! Add this "bonus" sprinkling of cheese about 30 minutes before the lasagna is done.

Start by browning the ground turkey. Add a little oil to the pan, cook the onions for a bit, then add in the ground turkey and minced garlic. Stir in 1/2 tbsp. Italian seasoning and salt and pepper. Once the turkey is browned and thoroughly cooked, mix with a full jar of marinara sauce.

 

In a separate bowl, mix ricotta cheese, 2 cups of mozzarella cheese, egg, remaining Italian seasoning and salt and pepper.

The next step seems a little weird! You’re going to rinse the lasagna noodles under water, being sure to get both sides wet. I just held them in my hand and ran them under tap water in the kitchen. Super simple! This will help them cook more evenly because while there is moisture in the lasagna, it’s not quite the same as cooking them beforehand.

Now comes the fun part – layering the lasagna in the slow cooker!

Spray the crockpot with  nonstick spray or pour in a bit of olive oil and use a cloth or paper towel to grease the slow cooker evenly like I did. Then add a hefty layer of the meat mixture to the bottom of the crockpot.

Now you’re going to add a layer of lasagna noodles. If you have a round or oval crockpot like me, you’ll have to break them up to cover the edges. A “good enough” covering works just fine.

Then smear a layer of the cheese mixture over the noodles. If you find that the small pieces of lasagna noodle are sticking to your spatula, use a dabbing motion on the small pieces.

 

Next add a hefty layer of kale. I also like to smoosh this layer down firmly but gently to make sure all the layers are nice and tight.

Repeat the Meat>Noodle>Cheese Mixture>Kale order until you get to the top, with the top layer being the cheese mixture.

Finally, everyone’s favorite part: cheese! You have two options here.

1. Sprinkle all remaining mozzarella cheese in one fell swoop prior to turning on the slow cooker. This will result in amazing crispy, crusty edges of golden cheese with slightly gooey mountains of center cheese (yes, that is the technical name… center cheese).

2. Sprinkle most of the mozzarella cheese prior to turning on the slow cooker to create those crispy golden edges. But also save a handful to add to the crockpot about 30 minutes before the lasagna is done. This results in the crispy perimeter of option one, but has a serious gooey, stretchy center cheese factor.

I like to have my cake and eat it too so I chose option two.

Whatever you decide here, you’ll have to add at least one layer of cheese prior to cooking. So get to cheesing it up.

Turn your crockpot onto low and cook for three to four hours. The precise time will vary a bit depending on the temperatures reached by your crockpot, but if you want crispy cheese on the edges, you’ll likely stick to about four hours.

This makes a massive amount of lasagna (8 to 10 generous servings!). That slice is for picture-purposes only, but because the slow cooker is so deep, a pretty thin slice still packs a lot of lasagna!

By the way, that’s an 8 qt. crockpot, and I was able to fit about three of each layer into the slow cooker, in case you’re wondering if this crockpot lasagna recipe will work well in yours.

We served ours with a side salad and it rounded out the meal pretty well since lasagna is quite heavy.

I’d love to hear if you try this crockpot lasagna recipe and I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

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25 Frugal Side Dish Recipes http://frugalitygal.com/2015/06/25-frugal-side-dish-recipes.html http://frugalitygal.com/2015/06/25-frugal-side-dish-recipes.html#respond Thu, 25 Jun 2015 10:02:25 +0000 http://frugalitygal.com/?p=3018 25 Frugal Side Dish Recipes. Get interesting dinners on the table while being mindful of your grocery budget.

I recently shared 100 frugal dinner ideas with you. So I thought it would be a good idea to follow that up with frugal side dish recipes to round out an entire meal! By using both of these resources I hope that you’ll be able to keep interesting meals on the table and put your meal plan [...]

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25 Frugal Side Dish Recipes. Get interesting dinners on the table while being mindful of your grocery budget.
I recently shared 100 frugal dinner ideas with you. So I thought it would be a good idea to follow that up with frugal side dish recipes to round out an entire meal! By using both of these resources I hope that you’ll be able to keep interesting meals on the table and put your meal plan together even more quickly!



So what are your favorite frugal side dish recipes?

Please share your ideas in the comments below!


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7 Ways to Use Leftover Rice http://frugalitygal.com/2015/06/ways-to-use-leftover-rice.html http://frugalitygal.com/2015/06/ways-to-use-leftover-rice.html#comments Thu, 18 Jun 2015 10:02:32 +0000 http://frugalitygal.com/?p=2975 {meal planning} Do you always have a mountain of rice left over? If so, here are 7 frugal ideas for working your leftover rice naturally into your future meal plans!

Something I always seem to have leftovers of is rice. I’m apparently incapable of only making the actual amount of rice we need for two people, so I always end up with more than a few servings! Most times, I’ll simply serve the rice as a side for a meal later on in the week. [...]

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{meal planning} Do you always have a mountain of rice left over? If so, here are 7 frugal ideas for working your leftover rice naturally into your future meal plans!

Something I always seem to have leftovers of is rice. I’m apparently incapable of only making the actual amount of rice we need for two people, so I always end up with more than a few servings! Most times, I’ll simply serve the rice as a side for a meal later on in the week. But every now and then, it’s nice to get creative and create entirely new meals from our mountains of leftover rice.

Here are a few tried and true ways I use up leftover rice without being boring or repetitive (though I haven’t tried one of the ideas I’ve mentioned personally).

1. Stuffed Peppers

Stuffed peppers are my favorite way to use leftover rice! The base of my stuffed pepper filling is usually leftover rice, ½ lb of ground beef and a cooked bag of beans I pull out of the freezer. If you’re willing to improvise with your filling mixture, you can make your stuffed peppers even less expensive by using any leftover meats from earlier in the week like sausage, chicken, etc. and by including vegetables that need to be used quickly.

2. Add into Soups

Add leftover rice into your homemade soup recipes. It’s an easy way to bulk up a soup inexpensively. And you can usually use rice in place of pasta in recipes that call for noodles. I typically use leftover rice in my chicken noodle soup recipe (this recipe made it into my $27 Challenge). And while pasta is inexpensive, I consider leftover rice to be the more frugal choice since uncooked pasta can be used almost indefinitely, but the clock is ticking on using up cooked rice!

3. Burrito Bowl

I recently had my first burrito bowl and I was hooked! But I have to admit, the “burrito bowl” craze is a bit funny since it’s the most basic frugal meal – rice and beans – with some flavorful (and equally inexpensive) additions like guacamole and salsa. Burrito bowls are a great end-of-week meal since it gives you an opportunity to serve any fitting leftovers all at once buffet style and let each family member choose what they’d like to add to their bowl.

4. Fried Rice

You can make this classic takeout food inexpensively at home using leftover rice, veggies and an egg! This is so inexpensive to make, it actually worked its way into my 2014 $27 Challenge. If you’re on a super tight budget (or trying to delay grocery shopping  ) you can make this a complete meal by mixing in one or two pieces of cooked chicken breast, and depending on how much rice you use, it can feed quite a few people! The best part is that leftover rice (i.e. cold rice) is best for making fried rice, so it won’t actually feel like leftovers!

5. Casseroles

In my opinion, the best casseroles are the ones that happen unplanned rather than something you purposely put on the menu. This allows you to use up any ingredients you have on hand (hint: leftovers!). This isn’t an exact science, but in a rice casserole I’ll usually include leftover rice + cream of (something) soup + shredded cheese + vegetable/meat. The meat is an “if we have it on hand” sort of thing, but we can’t do without the veggies since they’re the stars of the show! An easy and versatile rice casserole that comes to mind is cheesy broccoli rice. I also recently saw this video from Blissful and Domestic where she shares how she made a taco casserole almost entirely from leftovers!

6. Rice Pudding

I will give two warnings before I recommend this – I haven’t personally tried this and – Use very clean, not-touched-anything-hearty rice (because rice pudding with a hint of tacos doesn’t sound very appealing!) If none of these meal ideas sound appealing to you, try making a frugal dessert by using your leftover rice to make rice pudding. Here’s a recipe using less than two cups of cooked rice.

7. Freeze it for later!

If you are tired of eating rice and none of the ideas above appeal to you, freeze it for later! You are bound to need rice soon enough and since it’s already cooked and frozen, it’ll make an easy microwavable side dish in the weeks to come! I actually haven’t covered this how-to yet, but here’s an easy tutorial for freezing rice.


What’s your favorite way to use leftover rice?

If you’ve ever tried any of the ideas mentioned above, or have additional tricks up your sleeve, please share them in the comments below!

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30 Things to Buy at Aldi http://frugalitygal.com/2015/06/30-things-to-buy-at-aldi.html http://frugalitygal.com/2015/06/30-things-to-buy-at-aldi.html#comments Tue, 16 Jun 2015 10:02:17 +0000 http://frugalitygal.com/?p=2935 30 Things to Buy at Aldi

I love shopping at Aldi because it’s one of the easiest ways to save money on groceries, so I thought I’d put together a list of 30 things to buy at Aldi. Well, technically, this list includes over 30 items – and I have a feeling it’ll keep growing over time as I discover new favorites and [...]

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30 Things to Buy at Aldi

I love shopping at Aldi because it’s one of the easiest ways to save money on groceries, so I thought I’d put together a list of 30 things to buy at Aldi. Well, technically, this list includes over 30 items – and I have a feeling it’ll keep growing over time as I discover new favorites and through your suggestions!

This isn’t an all inclusive list and may vary from store to store (as can the quality of the produce at Aldi, unfortunately), but rather, items that were a good deal at the time I took this shopping trip. Please feel free to add your “must buy” suggestions in the comments, as well as the items you think we’re best to steer clear of while shopping at Aldi!

P.S – If you haven’t shopped at Aldi yet, be sure to bring a quarter for the shopping cart and bring along some reusable bags (or purchase some inside for about 10¢ each). Just a couple things I wish I would’ve known before I went to Aldi for the first time!

Dairy

Aldi beats out just about every local competitor on dairy prices. I’ve found the best deals to be milk, eggs and shredded cheese, with shredded cheese being the best deal overall in the dairy section when compared to other local stores.

  • Cream Cheese

  • Feta Cheese
  • Eggs

  • Milk

 

  • Shredded Cheese (1 lb. bags)

Produce

I could have easily listed the entire produce section, because Aldi typically has the best deal on produce overall. Unfortunately, I’ve heard that the quality of the produce can vary from store to store, but if your local Aldi has quality produce, it can be a reliable way to stretch your grocery budget!

  • Bell Peppers (2 pack)

  • Onions
  • Mushrooms
  • Squash
  • Tomatoes
  • Apples

Meat and Seafood

Meat is the one section where I think Aldi can be hit or miss. While I don’t think they always offer the best prices on beef, chicken is reliably inexpensive. In seafood, the best buys are salmon and tilapia.

  • Frozen Chicken Breast
  • Fresh Chicken Thighs/Drumsticks
  • Pork Tenderloin
  • Cornish hen
  • Tilapia
  • Salmon

Pantry Items

I’m lumping all “inner aisle” items into this section. My favorite buys in this section are almost anything from their line of organic products, as well as the maple syrup and dried beans.

  • Organic Pasta Sauce

  • White Rice

  • Dried Beans (4 lb. bag was the best deal at my location)

  • Sazon (I’m always asked where to purchase this, and Aldi has a great deal on sazon!)

  • Canned Tomatoes

  • Flour
  • Granulated Sugar
  • Olive Oil
  • Baking Chocolate
  • Raisins

  • Peanut Butter

  • Nuts
  • Crackers
  • Freezer Bags
  • Maple Syrup

  • Oats

  • Organic honey

  • Organic salsa

 


What are your favorite deals to buy at Aldi? How do the prices compare to other stores in your area? Please share your tips in the comments below!

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Mess-Free Microwave S’mores Bites http://frugalitygal.com/2015/06/microwave-smores-bites.html http://frugalitygal.com/2015/06/microwave-smores-bites.html#comments Fri, 12 Jun 2015 10:02:57 +0000 http://frugalitygal.com/?p=2915 Mess-Free Microwave S'mores Bites – Ready in just a few minutes and made completely in the microwave!

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #LetsMakeSmores #CollectiveBias #sponsored I’m an apartment dweller, so I only have a sunroom as my “outdoor” space, and I’m also not particularly outdoorsy, so s’mores have been a distant memory for me for quite some time. Actually, the [...]

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Mess-Free Microwave S'mores Bites – Ready in just a few minutes and made completely in the microwave!

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #LetsMakeSmores #CollectiveBias #sponsored

I’m an apartment dweller, so I only have a sunroom as my “outdoor” space, and I’m also not particularly outdoorsy, so s’mores have been a distant memory for me for quite some time. Actually, the last time I enjoyed proper campfire s’mores was as a kid when my family would go camping in Pennsylvania.

The next best thing to campfire s’mores for someone like me (I.e not the camping type) is to make them at home in the microwave! But, there’s a small issue with microwave s’mores – the marshmallows have a tendency of expanding and totally overtaking the chocolate and the graham cracker.

So I’m sharing my little trick for making microwave s’mores not only something tasty (which they basically do on their own without my help), but also something you can enjoy on an at-home movie night treat without marshmallows getting everywhere!

They’re ready in under ten minutes, maybe even five depending on how fast you can carve a marshmallow – and you can make a few at a time, so everyone can enjoy their s’mores together!

What You’ll Need:

  • Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Bars (you’ll need two bars for six s’mores)
  • Jet-Puffed Marshmallows (I chose the square marshmallows since they’re the perfect shape!)
  • Honey Maid Graham Cracker Squares

I made mine in a microwave-safe baking dish because we wanted to make enough goodies to last throughout our movie night-in. But feel free to microwave them individually or on a large plate – the important thing is to keep them on a flat surface while microwaving, otherwise the marshmallow will ooze off of the graham cracker.

First, I cut my marshmallows in half to take off a little height and keep them from expanding wildly in the microwave. The easiest way to cut one in half is to do one clean cut straight through – the marshmallow will practically cut itself, it’s pretty neat to watch!

Here’s my trick for a clean s’more – cut out the center of the marshmallow! This will give it room to expand in the center rather than expanding up and out. I just cut a square directly through the marshmallow and pushed the center through to completely remove it. This part takes a few minutes. But if you want to save some time and don’t mind things getting a little messy, feel free to skip this step!

Next, I placed my graham cracker squares on a microwave-safe dish and microwaved it for fifteen seconds. Then I placed the cut marshmallows, sticky side down, on the center of the cracker and popped two pieces of Hershey’s on top of each one.

I microwaved my s’mores for 10 seconds (anywhere from 10 to 15 seconds was perfect for our microwave). If you choose to skip carving out the center, I’ve found 10 seconds to be the sweet spot, but the time will vary slightly depending on your microwave.

And here they are – ready to eat just a few seconds later! It’s such an easy and quick dessert and while it’s not the same as a campfire s’more it’s a pretty sweet second for something you can make conveniently at home in no time at all!

We had ours with a side of Netflix for a quick and easy dessert on a laid back summer night in. But I bet these would be super fun for a kids’ sleepover or just something fun to do with the kids after dinner!

I picked up everything I needed for my microwave s’mores at my local Walmart – all three items were set up next to each other, so it was super quick to grab and go!

Do you have a favorite way to make s’mores indoors? Please share in the comments below!

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