Thursday, January 26, 2012

grocery trip

I think my new favorite store is Winn-Dixie.  At least it is this week.  I am fanatical about checking the weekly ad flyers for all of our local stores and doing serious comparison shopping.  This week, Winn-Dixie won.  First, they had a "meal deal" where you purchase two 12" frozen pizzas and get several other items for free.  The other items were a chicken appetizer (boneless buffalo wings), an appetizer (mozzarella cheese sticks), little smokies and a 2 liter of Pepsi.  For us, that equates to four meals, all for the price of two pizzas.  With the coupon for the pizzas from the ad flyer, we ended up with 4 meals for $12.00.  Even though the pizzas are more than we'd usually spend on that sort of thing, after having one for lunch, I'm happy with the purchase.  They are almost as tasty as homemade.

As great as the meal deal was, there were a few more things during this shopping trip that ended up making cents.

Scanning the ad, I noticed 5 lb red potatoes for $3.49, baby carrots 2 lbs for $3, whole chicken for .99/lb and yellow onions for $1.29/lb.  That sounds like a roast chicken dinner to me.  We ended up picking one of the larger chickens for $5, but skipped the onions because we found a 3lb bag for $2.99 instead.

So, split the red potatoes and lined a baking dish with them, quartered an onion and layered that on the potatoes, added a half-bag of the baby carrots and put the chicken on top of all that.  Popped it in to bake.  We'll have roasted vegetables and chicken tonight, then debone the rest of the chicken and make potato salad from the leftover potatoes and carrots.  Tomorrow we'll have potato salad and some of the chicken with pasta.  The day after, we'll use the rest of the chicken for chicken salad sandwiches.  That's 3 meals for 3 people and a total of $9.74.  Not too shabby!

But we're not done yet.

If you're a bacon lover, you know how expensive those little strips of pig can be.  We love bacon, but we refuse to pay the outlandish prices.  Instead, we've learned to look for the larger packages of "ends and pieces" rather than the pretty 10oz packs.  Today we found 3lbs of bacon for $7.  The great thing about getting bacon this way is the variety within the package.  I divided it up into several sandwich-size zip bags when we got home.  We ended up with 7 bags, each will be part of a meal for the three of us.  Three bags are full of bacon strips that look like they were pulled from one of the expensive smaller packages.  Three are full of meat chunks that will contribute to pots of beans or split peas.  One has smaller pieces of bacon that will most likely end up in omelets.  In addition, I have an entire bag of fatty pieces that will be rendered into cooking grease.  The last treasure in our bacon package was about half a cup of what appeared to be ground bacon pieces.  These went right into a cast-iron skillet over low heat.  The crispy little bacon bits made a wonderful smoky topping for our salads with lunch

Sometimes it makes cents to think outside the tidy package.

Summing it all up, we have 14 meals for 3 people at $3 per meal... or $1 per person.  Now that makes cents.

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