Thursday, October 29, 2009

$276 Worth for 1 Penny!

I've been in the kitchen lately cooking up more pasta (of course!), stir-fry, grilled chicken and veggies, and breakfast. Cheap and pretty nutritious meals, but nothing that you haven't heard or know about! Nothing too groundbreaking. It's been costing me (if I hit the sales right and stretch meals to the max and making rice and beans when I'm low on other options) to do those meals for about $150 a month which can feed about a family of four. Wednesday and Thursday nights (because of our schedules and savings which come from it) tend to be our leftovers or rice and beans nights.
One idea I'd like to share when making your rice and beans is to mix in a can of tuna. This makes the meal stretch even further, adds that extra protein, and may sound disgusting, but if you like tuna it's actually good. Top with hot sauce and no joke it really hits the spot! A filling meal for a couple of bucks.
My meals haven't been too groundbreaking as I mentioned earlier; so the reason I must speak to you is the inspiration I got this morning on "Good Morning America" that truly is groundbreaking! I was flabbergasted when I saw this married mother of two and the way she grocery shopped! I am going to try to learn her method. I mean she could make millions on her technique if she wanted to; it is incredible! Some of you may have seen her.
I call this blog "The Pennyless Cook" for a reason. I hope to challenge myself and others to make inexpensive, but still delicious meals on a small budget, but what this woman has done is on a completely different level! She feeds her family of four on literally pennies a week! I am not exaggerating! Her monthly cost on groceries is roughly $4.00 a month! And she's even buying seafood when coupons allow! It's not just Ramen Noodles, because even those are $0.28 a piece. On her shopping trip that aired this morning she bought $276.00 worth of groceries, and with the many coupons she handed the cashier the price continued to drop with the speed of light. The final total was (drum roll please)..... 1 penny! Did you hear me?!?!? 1 PENNY!!!! CRAZY!!!! My mouth dropped wide open when I saw this! That happened to be a record-breaker for her. As I stared at the piles of groceries crowding the trunk of her vehicle I just could not believe what I just saw!
Some of the methods she uses includes finding out the rules for all stores on double-coupons, rules on combining double manufacturer coupons and store coupons (CVS allows this for example), and buying free or close to free items such as 1/4 pound of seafood which costs $1.00 with a $1.00 off coupon. She works hard at this and goes to the grocery without children, I noticed, so she can concentrate and calculate with accuracy. Check it out on Happy shopping! And happy it will be if you can master this skill! Let me know if you do.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Butter Make Everything Better

Okay, Okay yes I am still feeding my family, but here's what has happened since the last time we talked. We had planned a trip to Atlanta and then a long weekend with the family; so from October 1 till now we ate all the food that was going to expire, and stretched all the groceries from September through the first week of October till our trip. The food that I concocted during those weeks was kind of scary and not fit to even tell you about, but it was definately the "pennyless" way and then some Taco Bell $.89 tacos as well. Now I am finally back in the kitchen!
After grocery shopping at the esteemed, brand new Super Target (they have whole wheat pasta for a buck)we now have a fully stocked fridge and pantry. Tonight I stuck to another simple pasta dish, which was at tribute to Julia because of the key ingredient, and a thank you to Rachael Ray for the sauce. Pasta is such an incredibly affordable dish and it will continue to show up on The Pennyless Cook. Not only does it cost a couple of dollars for an entire dinner it actually can be easily eaten for two meals and is extremely filling, and can be quite nutritious.
Tonight was Angel hair pasta in a brown butter sauce with roasted vegetables. Melt 6 tablespoons of butter (sounds like a lot but it's for a pound of pasta) on low to medium heat with 2 teaspoons of salt. Keep a close eye on the butter, stirring for about 5 minutes until it browns. Be sure not to burn the butter I overcooked the sauce myself just a bit. Then add 1 teaspoon of fresh sage chopped. Any herb would be good here I used thyme. When butter has browned add 2 tablespoons of heavy cream, which I replace with whole milk and take immediately off the heat. Toss in pasta until sauce is absorbed and add 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese. We ate with a side of roasted red peppers, carrots, and artichokes tossed in Extra Virgin Olive Oil, salt and pepper. This dish was divine! I wanted sit on the couch in my sweat pants with the entire pot of pasta, a fork, and a spoon in my lap! My son though, didn't ask for seconds....he asked for thirds! Julia would have been so proud!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Mac and Cheesy Goodness

I was craving macaroni and cheese so I combined in a casserole dish cooked spiral pasta, a 15 ounce can of drained chopped tomatoes, 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese, 1/2 cup of mayonnaise, 2 tablespoons of oregano, and black pepper to taste. I baked the pasta at 325 degrees for 30 minutes. Served with a side of broccoli and all I gotta say is tasty!