Cheep Date Night

Snacks are my favorite meals. I picture heaven as an endless sea of passed appetizers.  I remember exactly when I realized snacks could be meals.  I was watching Mermaids (a movie with Cher, Winona Ryder, and Christina Ricci. You’re welcome.) and Cher played the mom.  Making dinner consisted of playing some music and a heapload of snacks on the table.  It struck me that when I grew up I could skip meals and just live on snacks, and it seemed glorious.

Having date night at a happy hour is kind of like that. You get to order all the things, instead of having to pick one big thing.  It’s expected that you will adventure a little–maybe order beets even though you think they taste like jelled dirt. When you’re only committing to a few bites you can give things a try.  I’m pretty certain this is how we all wound up eating roasted brussels sprouts.IMG-3443

So when AFBA sent out the invite to Happy Hour at III Forks, I was pretty motivated to get there, as you can imagine.  I even put on a dress! And real shoes! And I was glad I did.  III Forks is everything a traditional steakhouse should be. Lots of wood, dim lighting, quiet booths, large bar, great staff.  They’d set up several trays for us to sample: lamb meatballs, crab cakes, Blue Point oysters, caprese salad skewers, tenderloin skewers & stuffed mushrooms.  It was all lovely, with the perfectly cooked beef and the oysters being the stars of the show.  I haven’t had such great oysters in a long time!

How does this work as a Cheep date? Because you don’t have to be a food blogger to enjoy their usual happy hour, which is every Monday-Friday from 4-7pm.  $5 martinis, and $1 oysters are a nice way to while away an hour or so.

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So pretty it makes you smile.

If you needed something more substantial, or with less gin, they also have half price glasses of select wines, champagnes, and sparkling wines, which you could pair with an Angus burger (half off as well, making it $8.50!). 

They also have sliders for $5 on the Bar Bites menu, but I didn’t get a look at them, so am not sure if they’re a good deal. Short rib on a blue cheese biscuit is intriguing, though.

Many thanks to III Forks for hosting, and the volunteers at AFBA who make these fun events happen.  

 

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Happy Ad…Monday?

Yes, there are only today and tomorrow for these prices. That’s not a lot of wiggle room. But I have time to write today, so here we are.  Next week we should see the BBQ sales–brisket, pork butts and more should be under $2/lb, so clear your freezers and buy firewood! And invite me over, I make fabulous deviled eggs.

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No, I’m not making this one. This is silly.

I’ll be picking up a bag of carrots at Sprouts, and since it’s too hot to bake a carrot cake I might make carrot and raisin salad. Remember that stuff? It was at every gathering a grandma was invited to forever, and then disappeared. I don’t think I ever even tried it, but lately I’d remembered it and now one of my favorite deals rolls around and I’m going to give it a go.

 

Happy shopping, Cheepsters!

Randalls

strawberries, 2lb.               $3.33/ea

Honeycrisp apples               $1/lb

large seedless watermelon       $5/ea

pork loin                              $1.29/lb

 

HEB

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Someone in ‘Naming of Sales’ thinks they’re pretty clever.

 

mangos                      50c/ea (type unspecified)

pork tenderloin                     $2.99/lb (whole, in bag)

Oscar Mayer meat weiners, 16oz           99c/ea

 

Central Market

xl California yellow peaches        $1.47/lb

 

Poco Loco

chicken leg quarters, 10lb          $3.99/ea

NOTE: These are most likely the same ‘style’ as the ones Fiesta has. They need a bit of cleaning up usually.

 

Sprouts

red cherries                  $1.77/lb

Roma tomatoes               50c/lb

Hass avocados                 50c/ea

organic carrots, 5lb       $2.98/lb

boneless skinless chicken breast     $1.88/lb

 

Weekly Flier Links:

Happy Ad Wednesday!

Here I am, with summer sales, and happy grocery thoughts. Corn, tomatoes, watermelon are the basis of at least half my summer meals, being cheap and requiring very little in the way of cooking.  Are you wondering how Cheepie feels about all those watermelon salads that started turning up all over the place a few summers back? The ones with the feta and mint, and what-all? No? Too bad. I’m here to tell you watermelon doesn’t go with cheese. It can go with mint. That’s fine. Please don’t mess up your watermelon and feta by mixing them together.

This week is kind of a mixed bag, with HEB’s listings thin on the ground, and Randalls/Sprouts with too many, and certain days.  This week I’ll be getting corn and strawberries at HEB, frozen fruit, butter, milk and tuna at Randalls, and berries, grapes, watermelon and cheese (under $2/lb for the first time in a while!) at Sprouts.

Fiesta has some great meat prices, but I’m still trying to cycle out my freezer so I can defrost it. Because wire shelves shouldn’t be 6 inches thick and require a power tool to release a brisket.  So I’m told.

That lesson shared, here are the deals!

 

Randalls

BlueBell half gallons                                                  $4.44/ea

SK frozen fruit, 3lbs bag                                            $4.44/ea

Lucerne butter, 1lb                                                      $2/ea

Value Corner milk, 1 gal                                              $2/ea

StarKist chunk white albacore tuna                         49c/ea (must buy 4)

Yoplait yogurt, 4-6oz T                                                   39c/ea (must buy 4)

Kellogg’s cereals                                                            $1.99/ea (must buy 4)

SK frozen waffles, 12.3-14.1oz                                    99c/ea (must buy 4)

Thurs-Sun ONLY:

     boneless pork loin                                                     $1.49/lb

     vine ripe tomatoes                                                        69c/lb

     boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs          $1.79/lb

    split chicken breasts, drumsticks, bone-in thighs    99c/lb

     Open Nature frozen pizzas                                       $2.99/ea (limit 4)

 

Fiesta

beef top sirlion steak                                        $2.98/lb

bscb                                                                      $1.67/lb

center cut pork chops                                       $1.77/lb

roma tomatoes                                                    43c/lb

cucumbers                                                           25c/ea

today only:

     onions                                                               20c/lb

    Gala apples                                                      6/$1

Saturday only:

     boneless skinless chicken breast               $1.27/lb

     assorted pork chops                                      $1.27/lb

 

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Sprouts

blackberries, 5.6 oz                                                              98c/ea

red seedless grapes                                                               98c/lb

blueberries, 6oz                                                                    98c/ea

green bell peppers, cucumbers                                          33c/ea

organic baby carrots, 1lb                                                    77c/ea

on the vine cluster tomatoes                                              88c/ea   

london broil                                                                         $2.88/lb

organic oranges or grapefruit, 4lbs                                 $2.98/ea

bulk oats                                                                                  69c/lb

Fri-Sun only:

     seedless watermelons                                       $2/ea

     bulk cut cheddar cheese                                  $1.99/lb (yay! do not mix with watermelon!)

     grape tomatoes, 1 pint                                        $1/ea

 

Wheatsville

organic artichokes                                                             99c/ea

organic Gala apples                                                          $1.49/lb

 

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HEB, quit messing with me. I cannot be on page 10 of 9.

HEB

strawberries, 1lb                                                           $1.47/ea

small mangos                                                                  50c/ea

corn                                                                                  20c/ea

baby back ribs                                                            $2.89/lb

 

Happy shopping everyone!  Let me know if you find any deals I missed, or if you find anything really helpful to share.  Cheep cheep!

 

 

 

 

Happy Ad Thursday, Cheeps!

Logging in was rough, y’all. Thanksgiving. That’s how long it’s been. Nearly half a year but not quite.  So, only five months of ‘I’m posting next week!’ and ‘When berries go on sale, I’ll be ON IT.’ I’m going to shake all that guilt off and get a post up this week, and we’ll see how it goes.

Other thoughts I have had about posting are using the Instant Pot for frugal stuff. Maybe a half-assed return to the meal-planning, but instead of a week maybe I just post one frugal meal using the week’s best sales.  Let me know if you have thoughts in the comments, but for now, I’m going to get started!

The first Cheepie list of 2018, for your perusal:

HEB:

cantaloupe                                                         98c/ea

pork tenderloin, whole in bag                      $2.99/lb

boneless beef shoulder roast                         $2.99/lb

 

Fiesta:

papaya                                                                   59c/lb

Hass avocados                                                      33c/ea

half bone-in pork loin, sliced                           $1.17/lb  (Sat only)

Fiesta cheese, shredded or chunk, 8oz          $1.50/ea

bulk pinto beans                                                   50c/ea

Fiesta frozen vegetables, 16oz                            88c/ea

 

Sprouts:

whole seedless watermelon                           $1.50/ea

Honey mangos                                                    33c/ea

cucumbers                                                           33c/ea

corn                                                                       20c/ea

organic leaf lettuce                                             98c/ea

3 lb. organic gala/pink lady apples                 $3/ea

 

Randalls:

red seedless grapes                                              $1.29/lb

bscb                                                                         $1.79/lb

Lucerne cheese, 8oz. block or shredded          $1.67/ea

Blue Bell half gallons, select varieties               $4.99/ea ( $3.99 on Sat only!)

 

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Weekly Flier Links:

 

Holiday Hours, Stock-up Sales

This is going to be a quick look at what you might stock up on given the Thanksgiving sales.  I’m not going to try to run everything down, and I myself avoid leaving the house the entire weekend. You might be one of those folks that finds shopping this weekend invigorating.  Like morning people, I’ve heard of you, I just don’t understand you.

I’m also giving a round-up of holiday hours posted on the stores’ websites, so you don’t end up alone in an HEB parking lot being eyed by grackles denied whatever it is they usually receive from hanging around a busy parking lot.  Cheepie is always looking out for you!

 

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All prices good through Thanksgiving Day!

HEB

pork tenderloin                                              $2.79/lb (whole in bag)

bone-in pork butt                                           $1/lb (whole in bag, limit 2)

HEB Fresh turkey, 10-24lbs                          $1.49/lb

sweet potatoes                                                  25c/lb

Smithfield premium ham               shank   99c/lb

                                                                butt    $1.19/lb

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Oh, Trader Joe’s, I love you and your silly ways.

 

Randalls

NOTE: both of these are limit 1, with $25 purchase:

Honeysuckle White fresh turkey, 10lbs & up                                     1.19/lb 

Honeysuckle White/Signature Farms frozen turkey, 10lbs & up      49c/lb 

 

Fiesta

Jennie-O frozen turkey, 10-14lbs.                  59c/lb (limit 1, with $25 purchase)

pork shoulder roast                                         97c/lb

 

Central Market

free range non-GMO fed turkey, 8-24lbs     $2.48/lb

 

Sprouts

Cuties mandarins, 2lbs                                   $1.98/ea

fresh free range organic turkeys                 $2.99/lb (limit 4, while supplies last)

 

Cheep Tahini

I love hummus. All the kinds. Even the beet hummus that my friend who can’t eat chickpeas buys. For a while, I made hummus at home, but then I had kids became Cheepieaustin and realized tahini was spendy!

Today I have solved that problem. Just look at this!

That’s not even a pint jar, it’s a pint and a HALF.

All that time I knew tahini was just ground sesame seeds, I just needed to connect in my brain that I owned a contraption that would do the grinding. When I googled ‘homemade tahini’ this link showed me just what to do.

Given I spent just over $3 on sesame seeds, and a small container of tahini would cost substantially more, I’m pretty happy. There is the added cost of the oil used to create the tahini paste. I used about 1/4-1/3 cup vegetable oil, which would cost 25c or less.

The link above goes into detail but the take away is:

  • Buy hulled sesame seeds.
  • Put them in food processor.
  • Add oil slowly until a paste forms.
  • Process until smooth.

I’m going to use this in salad dressings, dipping sauces for meat and vegetables, and lots of hummus.

Let me know if you have other tahini ideas!