Copycat Honey Baked Ham in the Slow Cooker

by Savings Lifestyle: Andrea

This copycat honey baked ham recipe tastes just like the store-bought version – the glaze is an exact flavor duplicate! It's a slow cooker friendly recipe too!

We aren't near a Honey Baked Ham anymore to even considering making a purchase for the holidays. We never did anyway since our families always prepared the main proteins during our big dinners.

If you want to recreate the same flavor that Honey Baked Ham has, try this copycat recipe. It's simple and can be made in the slow cooker – BONUS! This will make you wondering why you ever purchased a ham to begin with!

Copycat Honey Baked Ham Ingredients

  • 7-8 lb Spiral Sliced Ham
  • 1 cup, Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 cup, Pure Maple Syrup
  • 12 oz, Pineapple Juice

Ingredients for Honey Baked Hame

How to Make Honey Baked Ham

  1. Unwrap ham and place flat side down in a large slow cooker. Throw away glaze packet and any plastic pieces that cover the bone.
  2. Rub brown sugar over the sides.
  3. Pour on maple syrup and pineapple juice.
  4. Cook on low for 4 hours.
  5. Baste ham with the juices from the bottom of the slow cooker.

Can I cook the Honey Baked Ham in my Instant Pot?

Yes, you can cook your ham in the Instant Pot! Seal the ham well in aluminum foil to preserve all the delicious honey baked juices! Cook the ham for 2 minutes per pound on high pressure.

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Copycat Honey Baked Ham in the Slow Cooker

Try this copycat recipe to make a Honey Baked Ham in the slow cooker. So easy and so good!

  • Author: Savings Lifestyle: Andrea
Scale

Ingredients

  • 78 lb Spiral Sliced Ham
  • 1 cup, Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 cup, Pure Maple Syrup
  • 12 oz, Pineapple Juice

Instructions

  1. Unwrap ham and place flat side down in a large slow cooker. Throw away glaze packet and any plastic pieces that cover the bone.
  2. Rub brown sugar over the sides.
  3. Pour on maple syrup and pineapple juice.
  4. Cook on low for 4 hours.
  5. Baste ham with the juices from the bottom of the slow cooker.

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Creamy Cheesy Instant Pot Chicken – Keto Friendly!

by Savings Lifestyle: Andrea

Are you in the Instant Pot cult? :) You either love them or are terrified of cooking with one! I'm honestly not a spokesperson for all things Instant Pot because I work from home and don't need to quickly prepare dishes from frozen to mealtime in minutes. But, I know there are advantages to use them beyond that!

One of them is with this recipe. You can add everything to your Instant Pot and it will be done in less than 15 minutes. And it's good. Like REALLY good!

Another name I've seen used for this recipe is “Crack Chicken” when you add bacon to it. Because, well, anything with this much cheese (and cream cheese) and bacon is sort of addictive.

We didn't add the bacon to this recipe, but you certainly can. Trust me, it will be DELISH! But, more than cheese and bacon addictiveness, the ease of the recipe makes you want to keep it in your repertoire because it's super simple and fast. This working momma needs SIMPLE FAST RECIPES!

The other nice thing about this Instant Pot chicken recipe is that it is a Keto approved recipe. Just make sure you're using a homemade base for your ranch seasoning to ensure there aren't any extra ingredients that aren't Keto compliant.

You can substitute chicken thighs to increase your fats as well. I have always felt that chicken thighs were more flavorful anyway.

Creamy Cheesy Instant Pot Chicken Ingredients

  • 1-2 lb, Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast
  • (2) 1 oz packets, Ranch Seasoning
  • 8 oz block, Cream Cheese
  • 1/2 cup, Cheddar Cheese (shredded)
  • 1 cup, Chicken Broth
  • Salt & Pepper (to taste)

Creamy Cheesy Instant Pot Chicken Directions

  1. Place the chicken breast in the bottom of the instant pot and season with salt and pepper.
  2. Place the cream cheese, ranch seasoning and chicken broth over the top of the chicken breasts.
  3. Place the lid on the instant pot and press the manual setting.
  4. Set the timer to 10 minutes making sure the quick release valve is closed. Once the timer has gone off after cooking then do a quick release.
  5. Carefully open the lid. Remove the chicken and shred using a fork and knife.
  6. Place the chicken back into the instant pot and stir in the shredded cheese.

You can add more shredded cheese (and bacon) if desired to your dish. This goes great with noodles, or if you are following a Keto lifestyle, serve on top of a bed of (prepared) Cauliflower Rice.

The recipe makes 4-6 servings, and is great for leftovers!

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Creamy Cheesy Instant Pot Chicken – Keto Friendly!

This Instant Pot chicken recipe is Keto approved! You can substitute chicken thighs to increase your fats as well.

  • Author: Savings Lifestyle: Andrea
Scale

Ingredients

  • 12 lb, Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast
  • (2) 1 oz packets, Ranch Seasoning
  • 8 oz block, Cream Cheese
  • 1/2 cup, Cheddar Cheese (shredded)
  • 1 cup, Chicken Broth
  • Salt & Pepper (to taste)

Instructions

  1. Place the chicken breast in the bottom of the instant pot and season with salt and pepper.
  2. Place the cream cheese, ranch seasoning and chicken broth over the top of the chicken breasts.
  3. Place the lid on the instant pot and press the manual setting.
  4. Set the timer to 10 minutes making sure the quick release valve is closed. Once the timer has gone off after cooking then do a quick release.
  5. Carefully open the lid. Remove the chicken and shred using a fork and knife.
  6. Place the chicken back into the instant pot and stir in the shredded cheese.

Notes

You can add more shredded cheese (and bacon) if desired to your dish. This goes great with noodles, or if you are following a Keto lifestyle, serve on top of a bed of (prepared) Cauliflower Rice.

 

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Taco Dip Recipe – Simple and Delicious!

by Savings Lifestyle: Andrea

This hot taco dip recipe is super simple to make! It is a staple at our home and for when we need a quick dish to take for an appetizer potluck.

Our family is a fan of refried beans, so I include this ingredient in our recipe. However, you could easily substitute ground beef or sausage if you are wanting some spice.

I'm also a fan of quick prep, so this taco dip recipe is hot and mixed together to bake in the oven. If you want to make it “prettier”, you can layer the ingredients and also add additions of tomatoes and lettuce. Or even put those on the top when the taco dip is done baking.

The other awesome thing about this taco dip recipe is that we almost *always* have all of the ingredients to make in the fridge and pantry. Like always. So, it's an easy go-to for those short notice invites!

Either way, it's gonna be good so I hope you enjoy it as much as our family does!

Taco Dip Ingredients

  • 8 oz, Cream Cheese (softened)
  • 1 1/4 cup, Sour Cream
  • 1 packet, Taco Seasoning
  • 1 16 oz can, Refried Beans
  • 2 cups, Mexican Cheese (shredded)
  • 1 cup, Salsa (optional)

How to Make Taco Dip

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine your cream cheese, sour cream and refried beans and mix use a hand or stand mixer.
  3. Mix in your taco seasoning, 1 cup of Mexican cheese and 1 cup of salsa.
  4. Scoop into a oven safe bowl, top with 1 cup of cheese and bake for 25 minutes.
  5. Serve with tortilla chips and enjoy!

The other awesome thing about this taco dip is that you can make it ahead of time! Just prepare all of the ingredients as stated above and stick it in the fridge. When you're ready to make it, just pop it into the oven or even scoop it into a crock, and enjoy in 30 minutes!

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Taco Dip Recipe – Simple and Delicious!

This hot taco dip recipe is super simple to make! It is a staple at our home and for when we need a quick dish to take for an appetizer potluck.

  • Author: Savings Lifestyle: Andrea
Scale

Ingredients

  • 8 oz, Cream Cheese (softened)
  • 1 1/4 cup, Sour Cream
  • 1 packet, Taco Seasoning
  • 1 16 oz can, Refried Beans
  • 2 cups, Mexican Cheese (shredded)
  • 1 cup, Salsa (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine your cream cheese, sour cream and refried beans and mix use a hand or stand mixer.
  3. Mix in your taco seasoning, 1 cup of Mexican cheese and 1 cup of salsa.
  4. Scoop into a oven safe bowl, top with 1 cup of cheese and bake for 25 minutes.
  5. Serve with tortilla chips and enjoy!

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Stuffed Chicken Cheesy Keto Lasagna Bake

by Savings Lifestyle: Andrea

Our family has been following a keto diet on and off for over a year now. My hubby has had the most success with it (because he has higher willpower than me, on most days…) and has lost around 40 pounds!

The thing I love the most about this way of eating is that you're never hungry – like ever! And, you get to eat all of this amazing food like these stuffed chicken breasts! While this recipe is focused on a lasagna bake, you can really mix it up to your taste bud's content!

One of my favorite sites for all things Keto and yummy recipes (including low-carb recipes) is my friend Jennifer's site, Low Carb Inspirations! She has so many delicious recipes and great information for starting this way of eating. In fact, it was her hubby that really inspired my hubby to start on this meal plan. Be sure to check it out!

Stuffed Chicken Cheesy Keto Lasagna Bake Ingredients

  • 2 Chicken Breasts
  • 1 cup, Shredded Mozzarella Cheese (divided)
  • ¾ cup, Ricotta Cheese
  • ½ cup, Marinara Sauce (we like the Rao's brand)
  • 1 TBS, Olive Oil
  • ½ tsp, Dried Basil
  • ½ tsp, Dried Parsley
  • ¼ tsp, Garlic Powder
  • ¼ tsp, Salt
  • Salt and Pepper (for sprinkling)
  • Fresh Parsley  Garnish (optional)

Stuffed Chicken Cheesy Keto Lasagna Bake Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, combine ½ cup of the mozzarella cheese, the ricotta cheese, basil, parsley and salt. Stir until incorporated and set aside.
  3. Place the chicken breasts on a cutting board. Use a large, flat spatula to press down on the top of the chicken breast and use your other hand to insert a knife into the thickest side of the chicken. Cut a pocket, being careful not to cut all the way through the other side and stopping before you get to the end of the chicken (creating a pocket, not a flap).
  4. Season the chicken breasts with garlic powder, and salt and pepper.
  5. Divide the mixture to stuff half into each chicken pocket.
  6. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in an oven-safe skillet on medium-high heat. After the skillet is heated through, add the chicken breasts – top side down. Allow to cook for 5 minutes without touching. Turn off the heat and flip the chicken breasts over.
  7. Spoon on a layer of marinara sauce, followed by remaining shredded mozzarella cheese.
  8. Place in the oven for 12-15 minutes until chicken has cooked through. If not using an oven-safe pan, simply transfer the chicken breasts to an oven-safe dish and bake. If your chicken breasts are quite large – they will need the full 15 minutes.

Once you're finished baking, sprinkle on fresh parsley if desired and allow the chicken to rest for 5 minutes before serving. The great thing about this recipe is that is truly doesn't take much time to make – 10 minutes to prep and about 20 total minutes to cook!

Also, this recipe calls for 2 chicken breasts and depending on the size, it may serve 2 or up to 4 people. We tend to get larger chicken breasts (yes, even the organic free range birds can have large breasts) so usually 2 will feed our family of 4 with two adults and two hungry kids (our third hungry kid is eating in the college cafeteria :D).

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Stuffed Chicken Cheesy Keto Lasagna Bake

The thing I love the most about this way of eating is that you're never hungry – like ever! And, you get to eat all of this amazing food like these stuffed chicken breasts! While this recipe is focused on a lasagna bake, you can really mix it up to your taste bud's content.

  • Author: Savings Lifestyle: Andrea
Scale

Ingredients

  • 2 Chicken Breasts
  • 1 cup, Shredded Mozzarella Cheese (divided)
  • ¾ cup, Ricotta Cheese
  • ½ cup, Marinara Sauce (we like the Rao's brand)
  • 1 TBS, Olive Oil
  • ½ tsp, Dried Basil
  • ½ tsp, Dried Parsley
  • ¼ tsp, Garlic Powder
  • ¼ tsp, Salt
  • Salt and Pepper (for sprinkling)
  • Fresh Parsley  Garnish (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, combine ½ cup of the mozzarella cheese, the ricotta cheese, basil, parsley and salt. Stir until incorporated and set aside.
  3. Place the chicken breasts on a cutting board. Use a large, flat spatula to press down on the top of the chicken breast and use your other hand to insert a knife into the thickest side of the chicken. Cut a pocket, being careful not to cut all the way through the other side and stopping before you get to the end of the chicken (creating a pocket, not a flap).
  4. Season the chicken breasts with garlic powder, and salt and pepper.
  5. Divide the mixture to stuff half into each chicken pocket.
  6. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in an oven-safe skillet on medium-high heat. After the skillet is heated through, add the chicken breasts – top side down. Allow to cook for 5 minutes without touching. Turn off the heat and flip the chicken breasts over.
  7. Spoon on a layer of marinara sauce, followed by remaining shredded mozzarella cheese.
  8. Place in the oven for 12-15 minutes until chicken has cooked through. If not using an oven-safe pan, simply transfer the chicken breasts to an oven-safe dish and bake. If your chicken breasts are quite large – they will need the full 15 minutes.

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Money Saving Challenges – Easy Ways to Save Money!

by Savings Lifestyle: Andrea

The beginning of a new year is a great time to jump in on a money saving challenge. With the fresh start, you can gain a positive outlook that helps your mind and your bank account.

Where do you begin with a challenge that saves you money? There are a few different kinds you can participate in, and we will discuss some of the most popular below!

52-Week Savings Challenge

With this kind of money saving challenge, you commit to saving a certain amount of money each week. You can place the weekly deposit in a bank account or keep it in a piggy bank at home.

You can choose to add in the same amount of money each week or scale it as the year goes. This is a great idea because most of our budgets will be hit hard by the recent holiday season. Though most people only contribute a small amount each week, by the end of 2019, you’ll have a nice little savings built up!

Interested in getting started with a 52-week savings challenge? You can download helpful charts all over the internet, like the 52-Week Saving Plan here , which helps you save over $1300 in a single year!

Cash Only Challenge

Your challenges don’t have to be all about saving money for a rainy day. They can also work to help control your spending so your budget isn’t destroyed and you aren’t living paycheck to paycheck.

With this kind of challenge, you vow to carry cash for expenses throughout the entire year. Cut up your credit cards at the beginning so you won’t be tempted to use them.

Bills can still be paid online or by check, but everything else (groceries, clothing, gas, etc) should be bought with cash. The idea is that you determine how much cash each category needs…and you don’t go over. Nor do you pull from another category’s budget.

To get started with a cash only system, you may want to consider learning more about Dave Ramsey’s envelope method. It’s a great way to curb your spending and use cash for the purchases you need to make.

No Spend Month

Another fun way to challenge yourself to save more money in 2019 is a no-spend month. Just as the name implies, you commit to spending no extra money in a given month. Of course, you will still want to pay your normal expenses, and maybe even set aside a little money for the unexpected.

However, this is the month to see just how well you can eliminate temptation and keep your money in your wallet. Forego last-minute coffee runs or pedicures with the girls when you are trying to complete a no-spend month.

These money saving challenges are a great way to boost your efforts to get out of debt, start an emergency fund, or pay for a fun vacation or new car. Just stay dedicated to the challenge you choose and you’ll see the rewards in your wallet soon!

Monthly Budgeting Ideas

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Monthly Budget Ideas: Template and Strategies to Stay on Track

by Savings Lifestyle: Andrea

Within the past few months, I've had a conversation with multiple people about budgeting. I don't think I'm an expert by any means, but we've been through a big debt payoff, a job loss, and other financial circumstances, and have managed by having a monthly budget in place.

Budgeting Spreadsheet - Monthly Expenses

Keep it Simple (KISS)

The advice I give to everyone starts with simplicity. Keep all your bills on a spreadsheet or in a notebook. List the name, due date and amount; you can add other information if you need it. Pay attention to the due dates so you never miss a payment and incur late fees.

I will be honest and say that I've paid more than my fair share of late fees. Not because we had insufficient funds, but because I was busy with so many other things. Consider adding items to a calendar so this doesn't happen to you.

Free Budget Worksheet

Create a Bill Paying Process

Pay all your monthly bills that have a fixed amount like your rent or mortgage first and then go in and pay your other monthly bills. Fixed bills are usually the most expensive and are always due on the same day every month. We have the fixed bills set to auto-pay which is super convenient if your online bill pay/bank offers this.

Pay your other monthly bills by the due date and in the order of importance. For instance, pay the electric bill before paying the cable bill. If something should go wrong, you at least have heat and lights. And if you're in debt payoff mode, just cancel the cable all together. There are lots of ways  you can watch TV for free.

6-simple-ways-to-save-money

6 Simple Ways to Save Money

Arrange any Overdue Payments

If for some reason you cannot pay a bill when it is due, don’t throw it aside and pretend it’s not there. Call the company and make arrangements to get it paid as soon as you can. The last thing you need is to have a bill turned over to collections, especially if you can make payment arrangements.

Create a Filing System

File your receipts as you go. Make files for all your categories like medical, donations and the like. After you pay the bill, put the receipts into the appropriate file folder. This only takes a few minutes and saves quite a bit of time come tax time.

While you are paying bills, it is a good time to sort receipts for items you may have purchased that month. File receipts alphabetically so you have instant access to them incase you need to use a warranty or return an item to the store.

Setting up your filing system and your account log whether it is on your computer or hard copy, takes time so definitely download the budgeting spreadsheet above to help in that department. Start now to get those files ready so you can make paying your next round of bills a little easier.

What budgeting tips do you have?

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Countdown to Christmas Advent Calendar

by Savings Lifestyle: Andrea

The countdown to Christmas is on! My kids have been reminding me daily of how many days until Christmas is here. Have yours been doing the same? So, here is what you need…

Countdown to Christmas Advent Calendar!

Now, our boys always have an advent calendar of some sort. It is a tradition for their granny to purchase them the same kind she purchased for my husband and his brother when they were kids. It's the kind where you open each flap and a new piece of chocolate is inside.

She would buy those advent calendars at the PX on base back then. She now buys them at the PX on base now but gets them for our boys. You can find them most anywhere now though. I prefer Aldi myself since I personally love their chocolates (not that I even get to eat any of them…).

The one issue with these advent calendars is that my boys have zero self control. They want ALL THE CHOCOLATES on the first of December. Little hooligans! :D

At any rate, this is a fun activity to do with your kiddos as they countdown to Christmas! We will be printing this for our boys this year, along with whatever other Advent calendars they do get from granny too. It's clear they just need the chocolate. :D

Countdown to Christmas Advent Calendar Supplies

Countdown to Christmas Advent Calendar Directions

  1. Print advent calendar on card stock paper.
  2. Glue or use double sided tape to attach Hershey Kisses to each numbered circle.
  3. To hang, simply punch a hole in the top center of the paper. Run a string or ribbon through and hang on a thumb tack or nail.
  4. Starting December 1, remove and unwrap a Hershey Kiss (starting with the bottom of the tree #25 working backwards) for a daily dose of chocolate!
  5. On December 25th, the last Hershey Kiss can be enjoyed and Christmas day has arrived.

We have already decorated our home for Christmas this year! This is the earliest we have ever decorated and it gave us some time to purge some old decorations that we hadn't used in years too! I love that it's done and ready for us to enjoy as we enter the season.

I hope your family goes into this Christmas season with joyous anticipation!

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