What Is Cheap Thrills Making This Week?

Thank you to the person who donated these lovely containers to Goodwill:

These are perfect!  As regular readers know, I love to make freezer meals to pop into oven, microwave and Crock Pot.  These lovely ServNSavers hold 10 cups of Crock-ready goodness, and the contents fit exactly into my medium Crock Pot!

In case you’re wondering why that Thrills me, it’s hard to find just the right container to hold just the right amount of food.  I’ve been using food-grade containers from various sources.  Those do deteriorate over time, and most of mine have reached and passed their time.  I’ve been waiting for replacements so I can toss the old ones.  These here ServNSavers are sturdy, and while one has a little glitch in the cover, I’ve tested it, and it holds liquids (and air) just fine.

I like to pop the frozen meal directly into the Crock.  I often put it in the Pot, and put it on a timer.  Yes, it is frozen, and yes, I know manufs caution against it.  I still do it; it works for me.  And since the frozen contents of these containers fit exactly onto my Crock Pot, it works even better.  I’m looking forward to soups, stews and casseroles all winter long.

I’ve had ServNSavers of this same line for years and years.  Many have cracked from dropping, or have warped from the dishwasher.  Some have had lids crack from plain old over use.  But the round ones seem to hold up well, and these are in great condition.  After a bit of washing and dipping in bleach solution, I’m happy, happy, happy!

So last week and this week, I’m filling them up!  We’ve already made use of one meal that I stashed away in oneof them: Swedish Meatballs for the Crock.  And I packed up a Crock Pot Swiss Chicken recipe, as well.  Normally, I like to bake my Swiss Chicken, but sometimes you have to improvise.  When I know we’ll be having a revolving door at the kitchen, I plan a Crock meal, and this one is a family favorite.

Crock Swiss Chicken

about 2# of boneless, skinless chicken pieces, cut to smaller serving size (about 3 oz.)
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/2 can white wine
1/2 teaspoon onion powder OR 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1/4 to 1/2 cup crushed croutons
1 6-oz package shredded Swiss cheese

Rinse and cut the chicken pieces.  Mix the soup, wine, onion and thyme together in a small bowl.  Crush the croutons.  Spray the container lightly with non-stick cooking spray.  Layer in the container:  1/3 cup soup mixture; 1/2 the chicken pieces, 1/2 cup Swiss cheese; 1/3 cup soup mixture; remaining chicken; 1/2 cup Swiss cheese; remaining soup mixture; as much of the remaining cheese as you would like; the crushed croutons.  Cover, label, freeze.

Cooking instructions:  Place the contents into a slow cooker while still frozen; if desired, thaw overnight in the fridge.  If cooking from frozen, cook on low for 5 to 6 hours, until chicken is cooked thoroughly.  If cooking from thawed, cook on low for 3-4 hours, until chicken is cooked thoroughly.

This meal for four cost about $3.00.  I’ll serve it over rice (.40 for four), and with a green salad (.50), bringing the whole meal to about $4.00.  Most of you know I get Cheap chicken at Target using Target markdown package coupons, manufacturer’s coupons, and sale prices (the package above cost about $1).  The seasonings I get on sale; I never pay full price.  Staples like soup (.59) and croutons (.99) I get at Aldi unless I find them Cheaper elsewhere.  I wait for cheese to go on sale and stock up in my freezer when they’re about $1.

What are YOU making this week?



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