Groceries + Menu

Free Stuff:

DSCF0385
I bought the Crazy Meal Deal at Kroger. I paid $10.99 for a bucket of Wings of Fire Chicken Wings and received a Caesar Salad, COca Cola, Ranch Dressing, and potato salad for free. I used a free coupon for the cat treats. You’re welcome, Lily.

Kroger:
Total of Groceries: $61.65
Total spent: $47.84
Total saved with coupons and sales: $13.81

Albertson’s:
Total of Groceries: $39.91
Total spent: $32.72
Total saved with coupons and sales: $7.17

Grand Total of Groceries: $101.56
Grand total spent: $80.56
Grand total saved with coupons and sales: $20.98 Not so good.

I don’t know what the deal is. The whole month of October, I made my own meal plan because the meals I was using from E-meals were of poor quality. So when I do my own dishes, I spend $80 a week, twice my budget! I thought the buying the meat in bulk was a good idea, but I think both Alex and I have sworn off pork (pork soup, pork salad, pork souffle, etc.).

My October totals
October total of groceries: $450.45
October total spent on groceries: $287.87 (averages to $71.97 per week)
October total saved: $162.58

Maybe I will just go back on E-mealz. It gave me 5 meals for $40 a week. Alex just complained the whole time.
Any suggestions? Yesterday, I signed up for dinnerplanner.com. It has some great meals (see below), and even with cutting each serving size in half, I still spent $80 today.

Is it possible to cook gourmet food on a budget?

Here’s this week’s menu, all meals serve 4 (I included the prices I Paid today. If no price, then it’s something I already had):
Chicken Breasts in Sherried-Tomato Cream

1 1/2 lbs. boneless chicken breast halves (9.99)
salt, white pepper*, and ground nutmeg
2 Tbsp. butter or margarine
1/4 c. finely chopped onion
1/2 lb. sliced mushrooms (2.09)
1/4 c. chopped parsley (or 1 Tbsp. dried)
1/4 tsp. dried basil
1/3 c. dry sherry
1 tsp. Dijon-style mustard
1 medium tomato, seeded and chopped
1/2 c. heavy cream

Sprinkle chicken breasts lightly on both sides with salt, white pepper and nutmeg. Brown lightly in melted butter in large, nonstick frying pan. As you turn chicken to brown second side, add onions and mushrooms around edges. Sprinkle chicken evenly with parsley and basil. Pour in sherry. Bring to boil. Cover. Reduce heat and simmer until the thickest part of chicken is white when tested with a knife, about 20 minutes. Transfer chicken to a serving dish and keep warm. (Or you can reheat in the microwave). In the meantime, whisk the mustard into the liquid in the frying pan, and add the tomato and cream. Bring to boil. Cook, stirring occasionally, for a few minutes, until the sauce is slightly thickened. Taste, and add salt, if needed. Transfer chicken pieces to serving plates, and pour sauce over chicken pieces. Suggested Side Dish: Chicken-Flavored Rice, Spinach

Crabmeat Alfredo

1 lb. fettucine noodles (1.00)
1 c. frozen peas (.88)
8 oz. cream cheese, softened (1.59)
1 c. lite sour cream (can use regular) (.99)
1/2 tsp. salt
3 (6 oz.) cans crabmeat, drained (I bought packaged for 2.99)
1 bunch green onions, sliced
fresh-grated Parmesan cheese

Cook pasta according to manufacturer’s directions. Add the peas for the last 2 minutes of cooking time. Drain, and return the pasta/peas to the cooking pot and cover to keep warm. In the meantime, heat the softened cream cheese and sour cream in a medium saucepan over low heat until cheese melts, stirring until smooth. Stir in the salt, crabmeat and onions. Combine thoroughly, and heat through. Pour the sauce over the reserved noodles and stir to coat. Let it sit a minute, and toss once more. Place desired amount on serving plates, and top with the Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately. Serve with Caesar Salad.

Braised Italian Pork Chops

4-6 thick-cut pork chops, trimmed of fat
3 Tbsp. butter, divided
1 medium onion, sliced and split into rings
8-10 oz. jar or can of pizza sauce (.29)

In a large, nonstick skillet, melt 2 Tbsp. butter. Brown the pork chops in the melted butter, about 5 minutes per side. Remove chops to a plate. Add the remaining Tbsp. of butter to the skillet, heat over medium heat, and add the onion. Cook about 2 minutes, or until lightly browned. Drain any remaining butter. Return the chops to the skillet. Pour pizza sauce over meat, cover, and cook over low about 30 minutes. Remove chops to serving plates, and spoon additional sauce over meat. Suggested Side Dish: Fluffy White Rice, French-Style Green Beans

Pasta Fagioli

1 lb. elbow macaroni (.59)
2 Tbsp. butter or margarine
1 medium size onion, chopped
1/2 c. chopped green pepper
1/2 c. chopped celery
1/2 c. water
29 oz. can tomato puree (i bought petite diced tomatoes for .57)
6 c. water
1 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. basil
2 Tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. black pepper
2 cans (15.5 oz. each) cannellini beans, drained (.89 each)

Prepare macaroni according to manufacturer’s directions. Drain and set aside. Melt the butter in a large soup pot, and add the onion, green pepper, and celery. Saute until crisp-tender. Add the 1/2 cup of water, cover, and simmer for about 10 minutes. Add the tomato puree, remaining water, salt, basil, sugar, and pepper. Simmer on low heat for 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally. Add the beans, and simmer for an additional 5 minutes. Add the cooked macaroni, mix well, and heat thoroughly. Suggested Side Dish: Tossed Salad

Perfect Pot Roast

2 Tbsp. butter or margarine
2- 2 1/2 lb. eye of round roast (or other roast of choice) (I bought london broil for 9.23)
3/4 c. beef broth
1 c. chopped onion
1/2 c. canned undrained crushed tomatoes
1/4 c. diced carrots (1.99)
1/4 c. diced celery
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
1/4 tsp. dried thyme
4 peppercorns
1 bay leaf

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Melt the butter in a large Dutch oven or similar pot over medium-high heat. Add roast, browning quickly on all sides. Add the remaining ingredients to the pot, and bring to a boil. Remove from heat, cover, and place in oven. Cook for 1 hour, then turn heat down to 200 degrees. Continue cooking for 2-3 additional hours. Remove roast from pot, and let stand for 5 minutes before slicing. Remove peppercorns and bay leaf from juices, and serve immediately over roast slices. Serve with Mashed Redskin Potatoes (cube 6 red skin potatoes, boil, drain, add butter, salt, pepper, and milk; mash!).

Dessert: Funnel Cakes

1 egg, beaten
1 c. milk
3 Tbsp. sugar
1 1/3 c. flour
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. vanilla
powdered sugar (1.50)
vegetable or canola oil for frying

In a medium bowl, add the egg to the milk. Stir in the vanilla. Stir the sugar, flour, salt, and baking powder together in a large bowl. Add the liquid mixture to the dry mixture, and beat by hand until smooth. If the batter seems too stiff, add a little more milk, a teaspoon at a time, until batter is slightly thin. Preheat enough oil (at least 1 inch of oil) in a large, nonstick frying pan. You may have to add oil to the pan as you make the funnel cakes. Test to see if the oil is hot enough by dropping a small amount of batter in the pan and see if it starts to sizzle. Fill a large measuring cup with batter. Pour the batter slowly into the oil, making the criss-cross pattern of a funnel cake. Fry until golden brown. We usually flip our cakes when we can see the first side is golden. Repeat with the second side. Drain the funnel cakes on absorbent paper towels, then transfer to serving plates, and sprinkle with powdered sugar. Eat while warm.

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One thought on “Groceries + Menu

  1. Looking back now, I see I only spent $51 for this week’s meals. I forgot to include the Crazy Meal Deal of Chicken Wings in there because they’re in my belly now. Anyway, where did the $30 come from?
    $10 for trash bags
    $5 for 2 boxes of granola bars
    $2 for hot cocoa

    You get my drift. If I just stick to my meal plan, it CAN be done. But I like granola bars. And we needed trash bags.

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