Have you ever bought the ingredients for a new recipe, only to learn that making it cost more than a restaurant meal?
I hate it when that happens!
My Iron Chef Mom strategy puts this process in reverse.
Rather than heading to Aldi with a menu plan, I spend a few minutes checking the week's sales flyers. I see what's on sale--THEN I find the recipes.
If I can afford to buy extra for the freezer that week, then the next month's meals get even more variety at rock-bottom cost.
It does require a certain amount of flexibility. This week I'm cooking without my stockpile, just to show it can be done.
Tonight's meal used chicken leg quarters, frozen vegetables at $1/bag, and sale priced milk. (I'm out of powdered milk, which I usually buy from Aldi. Score one for Amy--and don't forget to check out her yummy chicken lo mein!)
This is Southern-style cooking for my husband's birthday. I made chicken and dumplings, fried okra, and Creole spinach. Here's a breakdown of the cost:
- Four chicken leg quarters ($1.00) ***includes broth
- 6 chicken bouillon cubes (.20)
- 2.5 cups flour (.15)
- 1 cup milk (.15)
- 1 16-0z bag breaded frozen okra ($1.00)
- half one 16-oz bag frozen spinach ($.50) ***
- 1/3 of a 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes in juice (.20) ***
- garlic clove, dash of balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper negligible amounts
Total estimated cost: $3.20, or 80 cents/person.
***indicates that the remaining portion will be used and calculated in another meal this week.
Note: The entree was truly a large recipe. I strained the chicken and dumplings for tomorrow's lunch, and bagged over a quart of chicken sauce for the freezer, probably for a chicken pot pie.
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