Great Deals at Smith’s/Kroger!

It’s another Mega Event sale at your local Smith’s/Kroger this week – buy 10 items and save $5!

I love these sales, but it seems like it’s been awhile since we had some REALLY good deals, so I was super excited to see this promo! And a HUGE thank you to Rebecca for the awesome job she does on this list each and every week!!!

Here’s what I picked up:

(6) Huggies jumbo packs diapers, on sale 8.99 (ranged from 6.49 to 7.49 with coupons, BUT you also get a $5 Catalina coupon wyb 2 in one transaction)
(4) Mott’s apple juice 64oz, on sale 2.49 (1.99 after promo, .99 after coupon)
(8) C&H sugar 4lb, on sale 2.49 (1.99 after promo, 1.49-1.59 after coupon)
(4) Gillette Satin Care shave gel, on sale 1.99 (1.49 after promo, .49 after coupon)
(1) Kraft mayo, on sale 3.49 (2.99 after promo)
(4) Challenge butter 1lb, on sale 2.49 (1.99 after promo)
(2) Land O Lakes butter 1lb, on sale 2.49 (1.99 after promo)
(4) Ronzoni Garden Delight pasta, on sale .99 (.49 after promo, FREE after coupon)
(5) Stove Top stuffing mix, on sale 1.49 (.99 after promo)
(4) Betty Crocker cake mix, on sale 1.49 (.99 after promo, .57 after coupon)
(1) Ronzoni HealthyHarvest spaghetti, on sale .99 (.49 after promo, FREE after coupon)
(2) Ocean Spray canned cranberry sauce, on sale 1.49 (.99 after promo)
(4) Campbell’s cream of mushroom soup, on sale .99 (.49 after promo, .29 after coupon)
(6) Campbell’s cream of chicken soup, on sale .99 (.49 after promo, .29 after coupon)
(4) Hormel chili, on sale 1.49 (.99 after promo, .49-.72 after coupon)
(1) Kraft Philadelphia cream cheese tub, on sale 1.79 (1.29 after promo, .79 after coupon)
(3) Classico pasta sauce, on sale 1.99 (1.49 after promo, .89 after coupon)
(3) Heinz gravy, on sale 1.29 (.79 after promo)
(10) American Beauty pasta, on sale .99 (.49 after promo)
Granny smith apples, on sale .99/lb
Red delicious apples, on sale .99/lb
Bartlett pears, on sale .99/lb

To get the deal on the diapers, I had to do three different transactions, to roll the Catalina coupons. I did all of my groceries and two packs of diapers together. Then I went to my car and unloaded everything. Went back in after deciding I wanted more diapers and didn’t want to chance waiting until the Catalina promo was over, and then did two back-to-back quick transactions of just two packs each. I checked with the cashier to make sure it was okay, and I picked a line where there was no one behind me so as not to hold anyone up hopefully.

AND, for even more savings –

  • The gravy bottles had a coupon under the label for 1.00/2 jars. It was only on the Turkey gravy, so make sure to check yours if you got turkey gravy! This will make for .29 gravy on another trip!
  • The Challenge butter has coupons inside for .75 off any Challenge product. Take them back and get more butter for only 1.25!
  • The Catalina machine also spit out a coupon for 1.50 off any 5 Campbell’s soups! I went back today (THUR) and bought 5 more cans with the Catalina coupon, and got ANOTHER 1.50/5 coupon! Makes for .19 soup on another trip!

Total: $106.75 + I still have one $5 Catalina coupon

(Overall, my total was only about $71 if you leave out the diapers!)

Hot/Cold Thermos-type Containers – $2.99

TODAY ONLY! For our PYP Facebook friends in Utah or  Idaho:

DownEast Home has a weekly Facebook deal with a special discount in-store on a specific item, for one day only. This week’s Facebook deal is hot/cold thermos-type food containers for only $2.99! Limit is 6 per person per style.

I was able to find lots at my local store, and plenty of designs for both girls and boys. I really love the ones in the picture for school lunches – they have a separate little compartment on top with a metal foldable spoon! (They also have slightly smaller ones without the spoons.) Most of them have names printed on them, but I was able to find several without. Great deal since they retail in the big-name catalog for $19.50!

***Deal is good for TODAY only – Tuesday, July 10.***

Dairy-free, egg-free (vegan) chocolate chip cookies!

We have diary allergies in my family. I inherited it from my dad, and then passed it along to all of my kids. For the most part, it hasn’t been bad – in fact, I made it all the way to 16 before I was officially diagnosed. My kids have had symptoms to varying degrees, although one has now outgrown it and does fine with dairy. And for most of my life, I have just lived with it and not worried about following a special or strict diet. I just could not give up cheese and ice cream! 🙂

But the newest addition to the family is very sensitive to milk protein (casein) and so I have had to eliminate all dairy, eggs and beef products from my diet while I am nursing her. This has been QUITE a change for me! I am definitely new to the world of cooking for food allergies, and at times it has been a bit of a struggle, although it is getting better. The hardest for me has been giving up the baked goods and the textures that come with items made with dairy.

I found some premade dairy-free, egg-free, soy-free, nut-free cookie dough two weeks ago at Whole Foods, and picked it up to try. It made some of the best cookies I have ever tasted – EVER!!! Even my husband (who is not dairy-allergic) loved them! But at $5 a tub, which only made about 20 small cookies, and with the store being 45 minutes away from my house, these just aren’t a very practical solution for me. So I’ve been scouring lots of recipe books and blog sites looking for dairy-free, egg-free cookies that I can make myself, at home.

Here is my first attempt, and I have to say, it was a definite winner!!! These are fabulous! Big, thick, chewy – just like you get at a bakery!

Dairy-free, Egg-free Chocolate Chip Cookies
(I believe these would qualify as vegan, as long as you use vegan chocolate chips)

1/2 c dairy-free margarine (I used Nucoa in this particular recipe)
1/2 c granulated sugar
1/2 c brown sugar, packed*
2 Tbsp whole flax seeds**
3 Tbsp plain milk alternative (I used So Delicious unsweetened coconut milk, no hint of coconut flavor in the cookies)
2 Tbsp plain dairy-free yogurt (I used Silk soy yogurt)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
2 c bread flour***
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips (I used vegan semi-sweet chocolate chips from Whole Foods Market)

Preheat over to 375F. In large mixing bowl, cream together margarine and both sugars. Grind the flax seeds into a fine powder in a coffee or spice grinder (I used already-ground flaxseed meal, the Bob’s Red Mill stuff). Pour the flax seed mixture into the margarine and sugars, along with the yogurt, vanilla and vinegar – beat to combine. Sift in flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt, and mix thoroughly. Fold in chocolate chips. Scoop out dough using 1/4 cup measure, roll into ball and then flatten slightly on prepared baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until edges are set and just beginning to turn golden brown. Cool for 15 minutes on sheet before moving them to wire rack to cool completely.

My modifications:

*Original recipe called for dark brown sugar, but I didn’t have any, so I used regular brown sugar and think they turned out just fine. Of course, I do have molasses and could have made my light brown sugar into dark brown sugar myself, but that’s just too much work! 😉

**I used already-ground flaxseed meal (Bob’s Red Mill brand). It worked fine, just left little tiny dark flecks in the dough that didn’t affect the taste at all.

***If you don’t have bread flour around (I do not), you can use plain all-purpose flour just fine. The bread flour has a higher protein (gluten) content and will help the cookies be a little chewier than with the AP flour, but either works just fine in the recipe. If you are a bread-maker and have vital wheat gluten, you can convert your AP flour into bread flour by adding 2 tsp vital wheat gluten for each cup of flour used in the recipe, which is what I did last night and I really loved the texture it produced!

I modified this recipe from one in the book Go Dairy Free by Alisa Marie Fleming, who in turn got the recipe from Hannah Kaminsky, author of My Sweet Vegan.

Target Toy Deals!

Many locations across the country got some great toy coupons over the weekend. The Sunday paper had a special Playsaver insert, and the Target weekly ad had a wrap-around with store toy coupons as well as some new toy coupons on the Target website. Stack some of these together, match it to some sales this week, and you’ve got some fabulous toy deals!

[If you didn’t get the PlaySaver insert, try going to for printable versions of the coupons. If you didn’t get the Target in-ad coupons, you can text the word EASTER to 827438 to have them sent to your phone.]

Here are a few of the deals I picked up today:

Fisher Price Laugh & Learn Love to Play Puppy, on sale $17.00
Use: 50% off Laugh & Learn toy, Target in-ad coupon 3/25 [makes it $8.50]
Also use: $5.00/1 Laugh & Learn Love to Play Puppy manufacturer coupon from the Fisher Price Celebrate & Save site
Final: $3.50

Hasbro Battleship board game, on sale $10 + get a Hasbro card game FREE with purchase
Use: $3.00/1 Operation, Battleship or Twister game, Target STORE coupon
Also use: Operation, Battleship or Twister Game $3/1 (4-15-12) PlaySaver-3/25
Final: $4.00 for both board game AND card game

Hasbro Yahtzee Flash [or Simon Flash or Scrabble Flash] game, on sale $15 + get a Hasbro card game FREE with purchase
Use: $5.00/1 Scrabble Flash, Simon Flash or Yahtzee Flash game, Target STORE coupon
Also use: Scrabble Flash, Simon Flash or Yahtzee Flash Game $5/1 (4-15-12) PlaySaver-3/25
Final: $5.00 for both board game AND card game

Star Wars Figher Pods 4pk, 5.99 (regular price)
Use: 50% off Star Wars boy’s action toy, Target in-ad coupon 3/25 [makes it 2.99]
Also use: Star Wars Fighter Pods Figure 4-Pack $2/1 (4-15-12) PlaySaver-3/25
Final: .99

There are many other great deals and stacks with these new coupons. Look for deals on My Little Pony Train playset [17.99 on price cut, 7.99 after store coupon and PlaySaver coupon], select Littlest Pet Shoppe playsets [normally 19.99, down to 9.99 after store coupon and PlaySaver coupon] and other Fisher Price Laugh & Learn items, among other things. There are also some GREAT deals on preschool board games like CandyLand and Chutes & Ladders, both under $2 each after a coupon stack with Target store coupons and matching PlaySaver insert coupons!

There are so many potential deals – comment below to share what you’ve been able to find!

Target Deals – Olay, Country Crock and Abreva

Here are details on a few Target deals for this week.

Olay bar soap, 2pk – Regular store price 2.59
Use: Olay Bar, Bodywash or In-Shower Body Lotion, excludes trial/travel size $2/1 (3-31-12) PG-3/4
Final price: .59

Country Crock spread, 15oz – Regular store price 2.19
Use: $1/2 Country Crock Spreads, Target STORE coupon
Also use: (2) $1/1 Country Crock Spread printable MANUFACTURER coupon (GroupA)
Final price: .69 ea when you buy 2

Abreva cold sore treatment, pump – On sale 15.19 + Buy 2 get $5 gift card
Use: $5/1 Any Abreva product printable MANUFACTURER coupon HERE
Final price: 7.69 ea when you buy 2 and factor in gift card

Some fun after-Christmas clearance finds!

The day after Christmas is one of my favorite times to shop – I love the after-Christmas clearance deals! In fact, the week after Christmas and the first week or two of January are AWESOME for all kinds of clearance deals on all kinds of things – clothes, coats, gifts, health & beauty stuff, holiday decor, toys, etc.

And every year is a little bit different – I never know what I’ll find. There are some deals that come around pretty much every year, and then there are others that just sorta pop up out of nowhere. Here are some of the fun finds I got this morning at Walmart and Target.


Ziploc storage and freezer bags, Holiday Limited Edition Designs
Normal price: 2.88
Clearance price: 1.13 (these were not marked as clearance on the shelf, but did ring up on clearance price)
Use Ziploc Bags, any $1/2 (1-14-12) SS-12/4
or Ziploc products, any $1.50/2 (2-20-12) SS-11/20
Final price after coupon: .63 each (less if you use the SS-11/20 coupon)

Gillette Fusion ProGlide gift set + Gillette Fusion ProGlide Power 4pk cartridges
Normal price: 10.00 for gift set, 17.47 for cartridges
Clearance price: 5.00 for gift set
Use Gillette Fusion ProGlide Cartridge 4 ct. or larger, Buy 1 Get $5.00/1 Gillette Fusion ProGlide Razor (12-31-11) PG-11/27
Final price after coupon: FREE for gift set

I needed to buy the razor blades anyway, so I waited until after Christmas when I knew these gift sets would be half off and then used the coupon to get them free with my blade purchase. Not a stellar deal on the blades, but at least I got free stuff with it! (I did verify with the cashier whether they would accept the coupon on the gift set, since it includes a razor, and she said it was okay and the register accepted the coupon, but this one could be a YMMV depending on your local store and their policies.)

There is also a second Gillette Fusion ProGlide gift set that has a full-size deodorant and a thermal face scrub included, normally 15.00 and now clearanced to 7.50 – use the same scenario above and get the gift set (scrub, razor, body wash and deodorant) for 2.50 with purchase of blades.


Pillsbury Holiday Funfetti cake mix, clearanced to .84

Kellogg’s PopTarts Holiday Gingerbread, clearanced to 1.07

Betty Crocker Snickerdoodle cookie mix, clearanced to .86
Use Betty Crocker Cookie Mix, any flavor 17.5 oz. or larger pouch .40/1 (12-31-11) SS-11/6 or SS-11/13 or SS-12/11
Final price after coupon: .46 ea

Oreo Cookies Winter Red edition, clearanced to 1.49

Nivea For Men gift set, clearanced to 4.99

There are lots of other deals out there besides just these, including Reynolds Wrap (holiday design), hand soaps (I saw Dial and Softsoap – also saw some Method, but those were not ringing up 50% off, even though they were the holiday design, so they might just not be in the system yet), Betty Crocker cake mixes, paper plates and cups, and other holiday-themed grocery items. Also check for other health & beauty sets – I saw Olay, Caress, Dove and a few of the other Nivea ones. And the Target I went to this morning had quite a bit of toys already marked to 30% off, with a few of the 0ff-brand toy sets already at 50% off!

Triaminic Fever Reducer – $1.04 at Target!

There is a great coupon stack at Target for the new Triaminic Fever Reducer in the children’s medicine section. My store had the 2-11yr old liquid in either grape or bubble gum flavor for $5.04 (regular price).

Use: $1.00 off Triaminic children’s medicine item, Target web coupon
Also use: Triaminic Fever Reducer Pain Reliever product, any $3/1 (2-15-12) SS-12/4

Total: $1.04 + tax

[Prices and coupons may vary by region. Check local store and inserts for details.]

Another Huggies Deal at Target!

Target has another diaper deal this week – buy 3 boxes of participating diapers (Huggies or Pampers) and get a $10 gift card. Boxes are on sale for 19.79 each.

There are also some store coupons that you can stack with manufacturer coupons to make for a pretty good deal. Here’s what I picked up today:

(2) “boxes” Huggies Little Movers SlipOn diapers, on sale 19.79 (14.79 after coupons)
(1) box Huggies Snug&Dry diapers, on sale 19.79 (15.79 after coupons)

I used (2) 3.00/1 coupons for the Huggies SlipOn diapers [from a single-page Walmart ad in the 11/27 newspaper] and (1) 2.00/1 coupon for the Huggies Snug&Dry [from a single-page Walmart ad in the newspaper at the beginning of November].

I then stacked those with (2) 2.00/1 printable store coupons for the Huggies SlipOn diapers (see LINK HERE) and (1) 2.00/1 printable store coupon for the Snug&Dry diapers (see coupons at

I also had a Catalina coupon good for $5 off a $50 in-store purchase.

Total: $43.00 + $10 gift card

So, after factoring in the gift card, my net total was $33 for 3 boxes of diapers or $11 each!

If you didn’t get the Walmart circulars with the diaper coupons, check your SS-11/20 as many areas got 2.00/1 and 1.00/1 or 1.50/1 coupons that can also be used for this deal.

Scrabble Flash, Yahtzee Flash or Simon Flash for as low as $9.98 at Target

Some of you may have already gotten in on this deal, but for those who haven’t, there is still time!

I was able to find the Scrabble Flash, Yahtzee Flash and Simon Flash games at my local Target on Price Cut down to $19.98.

There is a $5 off Hasbro Flash Game store coupon in the Target Holiday Toy Book that came out two weeks ago, or you can also find the same coupon at

Combine that with a $5 off manufacturer’s coupon from Hasbro’s Facebook promo here.

Total: $9.98

[Note: The store coupons from the Target Holiday Toy book expire this Wednesday, Nov 23!]

Homemade Peanut Butter

By now you’ve probably heard the news about the diminished peanut harvest in the South this year, and how peanut butter prices are expected to rise dramatically for awhile. If you are able to get your hands on raw peanuts for a good deal, here’s an option for making your own peanut butter to cut down on some costs.

Here’s what you’ll need:

15-16oz roasted peanuts, shelled and skinned (about 3 cups)
1 tsp kosher salt
1 1/2 – 2 teaspoons honey (depending on your tastes)
1 1/2 tablespoons peanut oil

Put your peanuts, honey and salt into a food processor (in my case I used my BlendTec). Process for 1-2 minutes to chop up all the nuts into small pieces. Scrape the sides of the bowl and get all of the mixture back down to the center bottom. Continue to process and slowly drizzle the peanut oil into the mixture. Let it process until it becomes smooth. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 months.

[For a BlendTec – run the peanuts, honey and salt on one cycle at Speed 1. Scrape down sides, then process for one full cycle on Speed 5. Scrape down again and continue running cycles on Speed 5 until you get the right consistency and the peanut butter starts to move freely with the blades. The first few cycles it will look like nothing is moving or happening, but if you look closely you’ll see peanut butter forming in the lower inch or so near the blades. After each cycle, mix it all up and turn it over so that the creamier stuff gets mixed in and then start another cycle. It took me about 4-5 cycles on Speed 5 to get to where I wanted.]

I used store-bought, already roasted and lightly salted peanuts because I was able to get a bunch for free at Smith’s late last summer and they needed to get used! You can buy organic or non-organic, shell on and roast them yourself, or buy them already roasted in the bulk aisle. Whatever works easiest for you, although I’ve heard that there is no comparison to roasting them yourself as far as great flavor goes!

Also, your peanut butter may be a slightly thinner consistency than you’re used to when it comes out of the food processor (this is especially true if you use a high-power blender) because it will be warm. Let it set up in the fridge for at least 30 minutes or so and it will be much thicker and more like the stuff from the store. (The stuff in the picture above was from a batch I made yesterday and had been in the fridge overnight.)

If you’ve never had “natural” peanut butter before, it is “drier” (for lack of a better term) than your average Skippy or Jif stuff, and it will definitely suck all of the moisture right out of your mouth, so have a glass of milk handy! 😉

Crest Complete Deals at Target

Price cuts and clearance deals vary by region, but if you’re headed to a Target store near you sometime soon, keep your eyes out for these possible deals on Crest Complete toothpaste + bonuses!

On the clearance shelves:

Crest Complete Multi-Benefit toothpaste 5.8oz + Bonus FREE Crest 3D Whitestrips + Bonus $13 in coupons

Price: Clearanced to 2.54 at my store (I’ve heard reports some stores are down to 2.08)
Use: Crest Complete Toothpaste, Scope Dual Blast Rinse, Oral-B Complete Floss, or Oral-B Complete Toothbrush $2/1 (12-31-11) DishTVSS-9/11
Final price: .54

Here are the included coupons (there was actually almost $23 in coupons):
-Save $7.00 on ONE Crest 3D WHITE Whitestrips 14ct Advanced Vivid or Professional Effects, exp. 6-30-2012
-Save $.75 on ONE Crest 3D WHITE Vivid or Advanced Vivid Paste, exp. 6-30-2012
-Save $1.00 on ONE Crest 3D WHITE Vivid or Advanced Vivid Brush, exp. 6-30-2012
-Save $.75 on ONE Crest 3D WHITE Multi-Care Whitening Rinse, exp. 6-30-2012
-Save $.75 on ONE Crest Toothpaste 4.0oz or larger or liquid gel (excludes Crest Cavity, Baking Soda, Tartar), exp. 7-31-2013
-Save $1.00 on ONE Crest Rinse 4.40 mL or larger, exp. 7-31-2013
-Save $.75 on ONE Oral-B Pulsar, CrossAction, Advantage or TWO Indicator or Cavity Defense Toothbrushes, exp. 7-31-2013
-Save $.75 on ONE Oral-B Floss or ONE Oral-B Floss Picks 30ct or more, exp. 7-31-2013
-Save $3.00 on ONE Oral-B Battery Toothbrush or 3D White Action Rechargeable Toothbrush, exp. 7-31-2013
-Save $7.00 on ONE Crest 3D White Professional Effects, 2 Hour Express, Advanced Vivid, Stain Shield or Gentle Routine Whitestrips (excludes Vivid), exp. 7-31-2012

If you are not lucky enough to find any of these in your clearance section, try taking a look down the regular toothpaste aisle. Here’s what I found today:

Crest Complete Multi-Benefit Whitening+ toothpaste 6.0oz + Bonus travel-size Scope Dual-Blast mouthwash + Bonus Glide dental floss sample + Bonus $13 in coupons

Price: 2.69 (regular shelf price, but most likely is a limited promotion)
Use: Crest Complete Toothpaste, Scope Dual Blast Rinse, Oral-B Complete Floss, or Oral-B Complete Toothbrush $2/1 (12-31-11) DishTVSS-9/11
Final price: .69

Here are the included coupons:
-Save $.75 on ONE Crest Toothpaste 4.0oz or larger or liquid gel (excludes Crest Cavity, Baking Soda, Tartar), exp. 7-31-2013
-Save $1.00 on ONE Scope Mouthwash 710 mL or larger, exp. 7-31-2013
-Save $.75 on ONE Oral-B Pulsar, CrossAction, Advantage or TWO Indicator or Cavity Defense Toothbrushes, exp. 7-31-2013
-Save $.75 on ONE Oral-B Floss or ONE Oral-B Floss Picks 30ct or more, exp. 7-31-2013
-Save $3.00 on ONE Oral-B Battery Toothbrush, exp. 7-31-2013
-Save $7.00 on ONE Crest 3D White Professional Effects, 2 Hour Express, Advanced Vivid, Stain Shield or Gentle Routine Whitestrips (excludes Vivid), exp. 7-31-2012

How to Pressure Can Chicken

I first learned about canning meats when I was watching a show about surviving in Alaska, and the participants were catching salmon and canning it. Up until that time, for some reason it had just never even occurred to me that one could can meats, even though I had seen canned meats in the store plenty of times. My mother would can peaches and pears when I was little, but she never did pressure canning.

A year or so after watching that show, my local church asked me to help put together some ideas and plans for emergency preparedness for those who might be interested. I have to confess that I was not exactly an example of preparedness at the time. So I had to kinda learn it all from scratch. Some of the preparations we worked on involved having some food stored away in case of an emergency. And so I did more research on canning meats, and talked with a few people who had done it, and found it was a lot easier than I expected it to be. (Note: By “easy” I mean ‘not overly complicated’ rather than easy as in ‘quick’. Just want to throw that out there right now.)

I have since found that I really enjoy having canned meats around – they have been so helpful on nights when I need a quick and easy meal!

I usually can chicken when I can find it on sale in the 40lb boxes for about $1.30-$1.50/pound. Since we’ve had a few of those sales where I live recently, and with the Zaycon chicken deals being introduced into some new states and areas, I wanted to give you guys another option for storing/preserving all that chicken!

Now, I’m not going to go through all of the specific details for the actual canning part, because that will differ based on your particular model of pressure canner. So be sure to read through your canner’s instruction manual for the specifics. And for those who are new to pressure canning, please note that a pressure CANNER is different from a pressure COOKER (although a pressure canner can be used to pressure cook, a pressure cooker cannot usually be used to pressure can unless the manual specifically states that it is approved) – totally clear as mud?

For canning chicken using the raw-pack method (meaning that you don’t have to pre-cook the chicken), start by gathering all your supplies. You will need:

  • pressure canner (this is NOT the same as a pressure cooker)
  • chicken
  • approved canning jars
  • canning lids and rings (lids must be new, rings can be used)
  • salt, preferably pickling salt if possible
  • boiling water, chicken broth or chicken bouillon

You’ll also want to have some tools handy. Here’s what I use:

  • ladle (for filling jars after chicken is in)
  • wooden chopstick (for removing air bubbles from jars)
  • jar lifter (for moving jars into and out of hot canner)
  • tongs (for taking lids out of simmering water)
  • hot pads or hot mitts

Start by preparing your jars. Wash and dry them. For chicken, I add 1/2 tsp of salt to each jar. (The official instructions say to use pickling salt, but I’ve used regular kosher salt in the past with no problems.)

Then get your stove and pots all situated. You will need your pressure canner with the appropriate amount of boiling water (and vinegar to help reduce water spotting) – check your canner’s instructions for how much water you need. You will need another pot with boiling water (for adding to the jars), and a smaller pot with simmering water so you can heat the lids.

Here’s what my stovetop looks like on chicken-canning day:

Next, time to prep the chicken!

The big 40lb boxes pf boneless, skinless chicken breasts come with 4 bags inside. The breasts are butterflied, and have a little bit of fat on them which you’ll need to trim off.

Cut the breast halves apart and trim any remaining fat. Keep the fat and trimmings in a separate bowl (you can use them to make chicken stock).

Cut each chicken breast into smaller chunks – doesn’t have to be precise, just so they are easier to stuff in the jars.

Pack the chicken pieces semi-loosely into the jars, leaving 1-inch of space between the top of the chicken and the top rim of the jar.

You don’t want a lot of big empty spaces, but you don’t want to smash it flat beyond recognition, either. The chicken will expand while processing, and then shrink. If you pack it too full, you may prevent the lid from being able to seal (more on that later).

Next, add boiling water (or you can use chicken broth if you’d like) to within 1-inch of the top rim of the jar. Pour some water in, poke around the sides with a spatula, plastic knife or chopstick, to help remove air bubbles, and then fill a little bit more if the water has settled below that 1-inch mark.

Once filled, take a clean wet rag or towel and wipe the rims of each jar to make sure they are clean and there is nothing there to impede the seal. Take a hot lid from your simmering pot, and place it on the jar, make sure it is centered, and then put on your ring.

Because the pressure canner uses steam that fills the entire container, you can double stack your jars in a pressure canner. Make sure the water in your canner is now at boiling. Place your jars in your canner according to the manufacturer instructions. Mine says to place the second layer of jars offset by half a jar, so the top jar rests on the edges of two bottom jars.

My particular model of canner can fit 16 pints jars at a time.

Once all your jars are in, put on the lid and process according to the instructions. (It’s basically a process of: create steam, let it vent for 10 minutes to get all extra air out, put on stopper/weight, bring to pressure, then hold at pressure for specified time, turn heat off after time is up, let pressure reduce to zero naturally, wait ten minutes, then open the lid and carefully remove jars.)

For chicken, the processing time is 75 minutes for pints, and 90 minutes for quarts. (One pint jar holds about 1lb of chicken, and a quart jar holds about 2lb.) You’ll need to look up in a canning book or in your canner manufacturer’s instructions to find out what pressure to can at – here where I live it is 13 psi. You must keep your pressure at that amount (or higher) throughout the processing time – if it dips below that, you’re supposed to start the time all over again. Because of that, I usually end up processing at 14 psi, because for the first little while the pressure will fluctuate as you get the heat settings figured out, and that way I have a few moments to adjust the heat before dipping below the 13 mark.

Once the jars are in, and you’ve vented the canner and brought it to pressure, there isn’t much to do but sit and wait. I usually bring a book with me and just sit in the kitchen so I can keep an eye on the pressure. You will need to adjust your burner settings periodically, as the heat and steam builds up and the pressure increases. I start out at high for getting to a boil, venting and getting to pressure. Once at pressure, I can turn down to med-high, then turn it down little by little every 10-15 minutes or so, until by the end I’m down to med-low for the last half hour or so.

Once your jars are out of the canner, leave them alone for 12-24 hours and then test for seal. Press the middle of the lid – if it flexes down, it isn’t sealed. If you can barely move it, then you’ve got a good seal. Any jars that don’t seal can be reprocessed (with a new lid) or moved to the refrigerator to be used soon. After 24 hours, you can remove the rings, wash the jars, label them with the date, and store them away!

[For specific instructions on the actual canning process, which I have not gone into here, I recommend the Ball Blue Book or the National Center for Home Preserving’s web site at]

Here are a few of my favorite recipes for using canned chicken to make quick meals: (please forgive the terrible pictures – I have absolutely no photography skills whatsoever)

Hearty Chicken Noodle Soup
Chicken Vermicelli
Baked Creamy Chicken Taquitos
Curry Chicken Pot Pie

Note: The canned chicken works best in recipes calling for diced/chopped or shredded chicken.

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