Frugal and Delicious Chicken Pot Pie

I have a WONDERFUL, EASY, PEASY recipe to share with all of you. This is my favorite recipe that I have collected over the years from my family members, and I love to make this when people are unwell or in need of something quick and easy to make for themselves like after bringing home a new baby or loss of a loved one, etc.

Aunt Karina's EASY PEASY Chicken Pot Pie (makes 2 pies = 1 to cook now, 1 to freeze for later)

You'll need:
1 can of Cream of Brocoli soup
1 can of Cream of Chicken soup
1 can of Cream of Potato soup
can of Mixed Vegetables
Deep Dish Pie crusts (2 comes in package)
Unroll Pie Crust (2 comes in package)
1 lb of Cubed Chicken Breast
1 can of Chicken Broth
3 cups of Water

This meal is very easy to put together, the prep time is very short anywhere from 10-20 minutes total. Total cooking time is 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Thaw/Defrost chicken breast and cube. Add chicken broth to 3 cups of water and boil. Add cubed chicken breast to boiling water, cook for 10-15 minutes until done. Chicken will be white, no pink.

While boiling the chicken, drain the can of mixed vegetables. Add mixed vegetables and soups to medium sized mixing bowl and stir.

Drain chicken in colander or just scoop out the chicken with a slotted spoon and add to the pot pie mixture. Stir until chicken is spread evenly among mixture.

Take out frozen deep pie crusts and scoop pot pie mixture into pans evenly.

Unroll 1 refrigerated pie crust, lay on top of pie and fold up the sides, crimping/pinching with fingers until pie is sealed. Make 2-4 cuts on the top to let out steam. Repeat for the next pie.

At this point, you can choose to make both the pies if you have a large family. Freeze both of the pies for someone special or for another day, or you could cook one pie and freeze one for later. It's really that simple!!

Cook on 350 degrees for 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Yay, so I'm so happy to share this recipe with you, and I hope that you will love it. I'm very particular about my pot pies, and not a big fan of them overall, but I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this recipe!! It is the absolute best, EASY pie around to bake!!

Enjoy this recipe!!

UPDATES - We are still living without cable and loving it.

UPDATE 11/04/15:
My family and I cut the cable cord back in 2012. We have never rejoined the cable revolution, but I do have some updates worth sharing.

I wrote this initial blog post back when my family had just cut the cable cord. We were about a year in and loving it.  Well now we are 3 years in, and we are still loving it!! I thought it wasonly fair to update everyone with our current (3 years later if you will) costs to see if we are still saving a bundle, and it turns out that we are despite the rising cost of internet in this region.

In 2014, we invested in the Roku Streaming Stick (paid $40 - now it's cheaper) for our bedroom television, so now we have two! We also invested in two VERY CHEAP  Homeworx Super Thin HDTV Antenna (paid $9/each - now it's $7/each). This allows us to watch prime time television (American Ninja Warrior - my kids love this show) and morning and evening news when we want (like when it's snowing and we desperately want schools to close). We receive all of the prime TV channels (ABC, FOX, PBS, CBS, NBC, etc.) among several others we never knew about (CoziTV, anyone?).

This is what I currently pay per month to enjoy a cable free lifestyle:
Charter Internet - $69/month
Netflix - $9/month
Amazon - $9/month (annual fee of $99)

We are very fortunate that my parents share their cable login with us, so our family has access to these channel apps on the Roku (for free):
Disney Channel
Disney Junior
Disney XD
Showtime Anytime

In addition to these apps, we have lots of other free channel apps on our program list from Netflix and Amazon to Popcorn Flix and Jim Henson's Family TV.

So as time has gone by some costs have risen (mainly, internet), but I still save money each month by not paying for cable channels.

My current monthly spend for television entertainment is $87; this is a savings of $138 per month for us.

An added benefit that I would like to share is when you cut the cord on cable you also save yourself time and energy lost surfing channels and avoiding commercials. Our family is definitely more mindful of the time we spend in front of the television as a result of cutting the cord. Sometimes we decide that we are going to have the TV off for a period, choosing to read books as a family or do crafts. We also spend a lot more time perusing new movies and books at the library rather than searching for the next best thing to watch on TV. We waste less time searching for something intriguing because something has already been recommended for us on the Netflix, or there is a new episode of Homeland that my husband and I just can't wait to watch.

Cutting the cord is more than just cutting cable from your life; it is a lifestyle change and a good one. It leads to more family time and more mindful watching of the televisions. It may also lead to more frequent episodes of binge-watching; I am guilty of this (OITNB, can I get an Amen!?)

Thanks for reading and read on for more information about cutting the cord on cable in my original blog post from June 2014.

Many of you have heard our tale of cutting the cord on cable and getting on board with saving money by investing in a Roku. A lot of folks ask me questions and wonder if they could really cut the cord, so to speak.

Well it's very easy, and it was one of the BEST INVESTMENTS that I ever made. I mean, seriously BEST INVESTMENT because not only do I save money each month by not paying for the high cost of cable/satellite, but I also spend more time with my family, and I pay closer attention to what my children are watching.

So I'm going to provide steps to saving money, but first my story:

GG and I were spending more than $200 (almost $300) per month for cable/internet/cell phone with AT&T U-Verse. I thought we were saving money at the time because we had discounts, free movie channels, and it was bundled, so I was truly saving, right? Totally WRONG.

We were in the process of selling our house, and I told my husband that if we ended up buying a house that was larger with (possibly) larger utility bills and such, then we would have to cut something out, so we decide to cut the cord on our cable.

I researched internet services in our new hometown and found that Charter had the best deal for $30/month. I set up time for the installation and purchased a wifi-router since I didn't own one. The one we had came with our U-Verse package, so I paid $8/month to rent our router for like 2-3 years, so about $288 over time, yikes! I bought one for $109 at Walmart, and done. I don't have to pay for another one until this one burns out. I've already saved some money for the future with one investment up front. --> There are less expensive routers out there, but I needed one with a high frequency to emit across our 2700 sq. ft. home. Big house = more power and longer reach wifi frequency = more expensive. Here are some cheaper options and mine: Netgear Rangemax, TP-Link Wireless N300, and Netgear N600 Dual Band Gigabit (that's the one I own).

Next, I cut the cable at our old house, so we had no TV or internet for a couple of days. We went to the library and borrowed some books and movies to tie us over while we moved stuff into our new (to us) home.

The first week that we moved in, I signed us up for Netflix ($9/month), Hulu Plus ($9/month), and Amazon Prime ($99/year) which includes Amazon Instant Video. Each of these services offers a FREE trial-offer time period to see if you even like their services, and well I fell in love RIGHT AWAY with all the tv shows and movies as well as the perk of 2-day shipping from Amazon.

I also invested in our Roku. I chose the Roku 2 XD ($56) because it was the latest model at the time, but I know friends and family who prefer the Roku Streaming Stick ($49), which is kind of the latest and greatest.

On our Roku we are able to stream our paid monthly subscriptions to Netflix (endless movies and TV series), Hulu Plus (mostly prime time TV series), and Amazon Prime (lots and lots of movies and TV series, they just acquired HBO shows, too!) as well as several other awesomely free services.

These are just a sample of the channels I have on my Roku:
Pandora - Streaming Pandora stations for free, I love Children's Indie
Crackle - Free movies with short advertisements
PBS - Free full episodes of shows and mini-series like Call the Midwife...
PBS Kids - Free PBS kids full episodes of shows like Sesame Street, Clifford, Arthur...
A&E - Free full episodes of shows like Duck Dynasty, Bates Motel
Lifetime - Free full episodes of shows and movies like Army Wives, True STori...
History Channel - Free full episodes of shows like American Pickers, Mountain Men, Ancient Aliens...

Know someone who pays for cable? Well if they let you borrow their account log-in you can also get these Roku channels for FREE:
Disney Channel - Free full episodes of shows and some Disney channel movies
Disney Junior - Free full episodes of Sophia the First, Jake and the Neverland Pirates, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Rolie Polie Olie....
Disney XD - Free full episodes of Marvel Avengers, Phineas and Ferb...
HBO Go - I love me some GOT, Sopranos, Boardwalk Empire, True Blood... not to mention all the awesome new release movies
Showtime Anytime - I can't get enough of Nurse Jackie, Homeland, Shameless...

Also, once you have an account with the above mentioned channels, you can stream them on mobile devices as well as iPad, Kindle Fire, and computers.

I found that after we cut the cord to cable, we were saving right away. Our AT&T U-Verse breakdown was about this:

-  $45 - internet
-  $180 - TV
   OR $225 per month
Our TV entertainment now costs us:
-  $30 - Charter internet
-  $9 - Netflix
-  $9 - Hulu Plus
    OR $48 per month, plus $99/year for Amazon
Total breakdown : $57 per month, a savings of about $168 per month, and I will NEVER go back to cable.


So if you want to cut the cord on cable and save money each month while still enjoying the same awesome shows and movies, you need to follow these steps:

1.  Sign up for the cheapest, best internet in your area ~$30/month (or more depends on your area)
2.  Invest in a wireless router rather than rent from your internet service provider, see links above
2.  Buy a Roku ~$50-60 (one-time purchase per TV)
3.  Sign up for Amazon ($99/year), Netflix ($9/month), Hulu Plus ($9/month)
4.  Enjoy your new TV service and put all the extra money you're saving each month towards your next vacation or rainy-day fund

**My blog post contains affiliate links, so I may be compensated if  you make a purchase after clicking one of my links.

Need a "new to you" photo lens?

I just got an email from Borrow Lenses that is it time for their annual used inventory blowout aka their biggest sale of the year! Get 20% off all used gear with this code - USEDGEAR20. If I wasn't saving money for Disney World, I would be ALL over this! I love renting lenses from them when I need something for a wedding or family portrait sesh.

Shop Now - 20% Off All Used Gear

Good luck purchasing the best lens for you! I'll be uploading pictures later from Harper's kindergarten graduation; can't wait to share these with you!

It's summer.

Finally! It was a long couple of semesters for graduate school for me. I was overwhelmed, stressed, lacking sleep, and lost on all things fun.

My blog completely fell to the wayside when it came time to read, re-read, research, research some more and start churning papers out. Not to mention, for half of the year, I was doing the job of three people in my office, so that was taking its toll as well.

Some days I would be on campus from 7:45 AM to 11:00 PM at night often later. I never saw my babies, and I never spent time with my husband.

It was a depressing time for me and my family.

That time has passed, for now at least.

Now that the torrential rains in North Texas and that F1 tornado that tore through the street behind ours have subsided, I am now in a happier state of mind. I'm spending time pondering what book I want to read next and what home improvement projects should I work on next? AND, I am catching up on movies, TV, scrapbooking and picking up my other favorite hobby, photography.

Currently, I am gearing up for my son's third birthday party this weekend; praying it doesn't rain. Next weekend is the Great American Scrapbook Convention in Arlington. I'm staying overnight with my mom, and Harper is tagging along for her first time at convention. I hope she enjoys it. I know it will be a long walk for her and she'll get tired, but I love scrapbook stuff, and I want her to love it too. Is that so bad? Then I'll be getting stuff ready for my annual summer scrapbook retreat at Memory Lane Inn in McKinney, Texas. I love, love, love Memory Lane Inn! It has been way too long since I slept in their comfy beds and scrapbooked to my heart's content in their beautiful scrap space. We are currently planning our trip to Walt Disney World in September, and that can't come soon enough either!! We are super thrilled about it.

All in all, I have high hopes for this summer.

To start the summer off in style, GG, the kids and I attended my niece's high school graduation ceremony in Austin. After the ceremony and a delicious meal at Russo's New York Pizzeria in Pflugerville, I took her senior portraits, which turned our stunning, IMO.
Senior 2015 - Jenna
 We spent the night at Embassy Suites Arboretum. For those of you who know me, this was the highlight of my year, lol. I absolutely love the happy/snack hour, made to order breakfast, the indoor swimming pool, the rooms with a suite, and the beautiful atriums. This is seriously my favorite hotel chain, and if I am lucky we get to stay in one about once every two years or so. The kids LOVE staying in this hotel, but what kid doesn't love that? We wrapped up the weekend with a trip to the Thinkery Children's Museum at Mueller Park in Austin. They had such a fabulous time.
Austin was a lot of fun, especially Thinkery children's museum.

Also, this week I finally finished editing pictures from my sister-in-law's spring wedding. It took place at Historic Village of Buffalo Gap near Abilene, Texas. There was nothing dreary about this charming, rustic wedding, despite the overcast and rain. I just love summer. I have so much time in the evenings to actually do FUN stuff, like edit photos!
Wedding 2015 - Miller
Wedding 2015 - Miller

Thanks for reading; look for more updates from our last year in my next post.