DIY Natural vs. Store Bought Which Saves You More?

DIYWhen I began looking to DIY personal care and cleaning products, I was concerned about the cost of supplies. A gallon of castile soap at $55 seemed a bit steep. But buying all natural products is pricey too. A constant struggle for me is balancing the desire to use natural products and be healthier with what we can actually afford. Many of you probably have a similar struggle, so today I’m breaking down the cost of a few homemade products versus buying them. Continue reading

DIY or Store Bought?

store boughtThe more I learn about the ingredients in store bought products, the less I want to use them. There are some great natural and organic products available, but they can be on the pricey side. When finances are tight, it’s hard to make room in the budget for expensive cleaning products and toiletries. What can you do? DIY! I make several of our home products myself. There are a few that I still buy, though. Which products do I buy, which do I make, and why? Keep reading!

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Easy Jam and Jelly Roundup

jelly I love jam and jelly. It’s great with so many things, from PB&J to oatmeal, to peach-smothered pork chops(as a bonus I’m sharing that recipe at the bottom, too). I was surprised to learn that homemade jam is incredibly easy to make, and even better, you know exactly what’s going in it. About a year ago, I ended up with all kinds of fresh produce that was locally grown. I knew I’d never use it all before it went bad, so I started looking up recipes, and of course jelly recipes came up. Continue reading

Sour Cream Enchiladas

We all had favorite meals growing up. You can remember the excitement when mom said that’s what was for dinner. And your mouth would water when you smelled it cooking; you couldn’t wait for dinnertime! One of my husband’s favorite dishes as a kid were his mom’s sour cream enchiladas. Every time I make this dish, it takes him back. Made with chicken breast and a creamy sauce with just a hint of spicy, these enchiladas are great anytime. Along with this recipe, I’ll include variations as well as how to make the ingredients yourself instead of using premade.

Cooking the Chicken

I find this recipe is easier if you prepare the ingredients ahead of time. Start with 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast. Cube them or cut them into strips. They’re easier to cut if they’re partially thawed. Put 2 tablespoons of olive oil into a pan and heat over medium heat. Once oil is hot, add chicken. Once browned, season with taco seasoning. You can use packaged or make your own here. Finish cooking chicken.

For the Sauce

sour cream enchiladasMix 16 ounces of sour cream with 2 cans cream of chicken soup. (Or make your own cream of chicken soup here, including gluten free and dairy free options.)




sour cream enchiladas


Chop 5 green onions and add to sauce along with diced chilies. (You can prepare your own chilies, too. Find the recipe I like here.)



Final Prep

sour cream enchiladas



You will also need to grate about a cup of cheese and cut 12 strips in addition to what is grated. Extra sharp cheddar is our favorite for this recipe.




sour cream enchiladas



And of course, you will need 12 tortillas. The original recipe used flour tortillas, but I use corn since I need to eat gluten free. You will need more than 12 if you use corn. I don’t usually count; I just keep going until the pan is full.


Assembling the Enchiladas

Once the chicken is cooked, the sauce is ready, and the rest of the ingredients are gathered, you are ready to put these enchiladas together! Spray a 9×13 casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray. Put chicken, one strip of cheese, and one tablespoon of sauce in each tortilla and roll up. Place in casserole dish. Once all tortillas are placed, cover with the rest of the sauce and and the grated cheese, and bake at 350° for 30 minutes.

Sour Cream Enchiladas

Servings 4 people
Author jcantral


  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 package taco seasoning
  • 2 cans cream of chicken soup
  • 16 oz sour cream
  • 1 can diced chilies
  • 1 dozen flour tortillas (you can also use corn)
  • 1 cup grated cheese
  • 12 strips cheese
  • 5 green onions, chopped
  • nonstick spray


  1. Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Cube chicken or cut into strips. Once oil is hot, add chicken to pan.

  2. Once chicken is browned, season to taste with taco seasoning and finish cooking chicken. Turn off heat and set aside.

  3. In large bowl, mix sour cream, cream of chicken soup, diced chilies, and green onions to make sauce.

  4. Spray 9x13 casserole pan with nonstick spray. Place chicken, a strip of cheese, and approximately 1 tablespoon of sauce mixture in each tortilla and roll up. Place in pan.

  5. Once all tortillas are filled, top with remaining sauce and cheese.

  6. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes, or until enchiladas are hot through and cheese is melted.

A couple of variations:

You can use 1 pound of ground beef seasoned with taco seasoning instead of chicken for beef enchiladas.

I am somewhat of a lazy cook, so I will often assemble these enchiladas like a casserole. Rather than rolling each tortilla, I will simply stack everything in layers and then bake.


Here is a quick list of the links to homemade versions of the ingredients used:

Let me know what you think of this recipe and any variations you tried!

Easy Taco Seasoning

easy taco seasoningI  prefer to make my own taco seasoning to buying premade. It’s quick and easy, and you control the ingredients. No chemicals or words you can’t pronounce, and it’s a great idea for those who need to be careful of their sodium intake. It can be made ahead of time, too, so it’s ready to go when you need it.

Easy Taco Seasoning

Author jcantral


  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp oregan
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper


  1. Mix all ingredients and store in an airtight container.