Monday Night Goal Post

In a crazy switcheroo, I’m planning the meals before we’ve eaten even one. It’s possible I’m doing so just because the Walking Dead finale upset me so much that I’m galvanized into action. 

He’s trapped in a car surrounded by zombies, but he’s thinking about the $1 pork butts at HEB.

It’s also possibly because seeing commercials during the Walking Dead finale for not only some abomination of a movie called Poltergeist, but also another Terminator movie, made it hard for me to get to bed last night.  Its kind of a lot to cope with given I was already dealing with Daryl trapped with Happy Camp Counselor Dave in a zombie-surrounded car.

Remaking the movie with the scariest clown ever, and putting your new version of that clown in the commercial? You’re doing Poltergeist all wrong, Movie People. Wrong wrong wrongity wrong.

So, here we go. A week of meals before we’ve eaten any, none of which will involve anything clown-colored or tinfoil shiny:

  • Mon: Cajun stuffed chicken, roast potatoes, garden salad, fruit
  • Tues: soup, salad, sandwiches
  • Wed: pork chops, pasta with garlic and herbs, spinach, fruit
  • Thurs: Leftover Buffet!
  • Fri:  Lasagna, salad, roasted vegetables, fruit

 

***Note: I did write this early on Monday, but due to technical issues I didn’t get it published until today.  Getting distracted by making myself a cheese sandwich is a technical issue for our purposes. 

Dinner Score, Week 20

Twenty weeks of the Internet Dinner Accountability Plan!  It’s been adapted quite a bit, but I think having the weekly plan laid out helps me feel like I’ve got a grip on dinner time and is keeping us from eating out quite so much.

I do plan to get better at indicating the sale items I’m using each week–after all the point of Cheepie is to get you those deals, and then have you eat them, not hide them in the freezer or find them moldy in the crisper later.  This week the pork and chicken were from sales, and the watermelon was from last week’s sale.

The plan:

  • Mon: pork blade steak, macaroni and cheese, watermelon, green beans
  • Tues: Taco Tuesday!
  • Wed:  Prince Spaghetti Day!
  • Thurs:  night out
  • Fri:  stir-fry beef, rice, egg drop soup

The real-life meals that happened:Stack Of Sliced Watermelon Stock Photo

  • Mon: spot on. 3 points.
  • Tues: leftover pork, grilled chicken, beans & rice, tortillas, cheese, lettuce & tomato, carrot sticks and cucumbers. 3 points.
  • Wed: stir fry beef, rice, salad, peaches, snap peas and carrots. 2 points.
  • Thurs: Dinner at the OG  (Olive Garden). 2 points.
  • Fri: Refrigerator buffet, featuring OG leftovers. 1 point.

11 points! Another solid B of a week! I’m happy. 

Things went mostly according to plan, though I still haven’t gotten the egg drop soup I’ve been wanting to make. Now it’s practically summer, so I’ll likely just switch to listing gazpacho every week.  I love me all kinds of soup, but with the family not as big of fans as I am it’s a hard sell, despite it being my favorite frugal food ever. Maybe this summer I win them over? We’ll see if tomatoes from the garden can be the turning point.

Garden, Grow!

Usually when the weekend rolls around I have a food project in mind. I don’t always get to it, but it’s there. Pork dumplings for the freezer, a stack of homemade tortillas, a batch of applesauce, these are the kinds of things I try to fit in between soccer games and karate.  

This time of year the food projects are a more long-term investment. Getting tomatoes in the ground has me daydreaming about summer salads and sauce.  My little garden has cucumbers, beans and peas sprouting and just looking at them makes me happy. Tiny wants carrots, and even though it’s late we will give those a try, because who can deny a kid carrots? 

 

For a $20 investment I get food and smiles, which is a pretty good deal.  

Cheep Cheep! 

Trader Joe’s Silly Thing This Week

As a reminder, I do love TJ’s. This is mocking with love, because I can’t hate a store that is not a half mile walk to the milk, provides my kids with a game and a lolly, has a snack and a shot of coffee halfway through, and rounds it out with super cheap wine and checkers that don’t seem to have been through some kind of Morale Sucker (patent pending by Wal-Mart).

This week we’ve got two things, a funny one and a pretty one.  Funny before pretty.

Not A Flag!

                         Not A Flag!

The entire description for this is worth reading, but I’m going to comment on just one word: unfurl. I don’t care who you are, Mr. Writer of Flyer Descriptions, Esq., but when you opened this can of curried eggplant with tomato and onions the eggplants did not unfurl onto the dish.  Words mean things, and an eggplant simply doesn’t have the wherewithal to unfurl. It’s not meant to. It’s meant for humble simple things, like flopping, and sliding. Possibly, if coaxed, a stewed eggplant could skedaddle briefly. Unfurling is for banners, grand old flags, and if a food must unfurl you’ll be better off asking a fiddlehead fern to do the job.

As for the pretty–the very best frugal bit of spring you Screen shot 2015-03-25 at 11.14.54 PMcan bring to your home is right here.  10 stems of daffodils for $1.49.  That’s the kind of treat CheepieAustin can get behind!  So go get some, and put them not just in the usual spots, but put a couple in the kitchen, a little vase on your desk, and just generally enjoy them.  It’s not every day that $3 will get you 20 flowers!

You’re smiling right now, looking at them, aren’t you?

Cheep Cheep!

 

Happy Ad Wednesday!

There are a lot of pork chops out there this week. I think the Sprouts deal, with roasts and loin chops is the best deal–they’re the most versatile and freeze very well.  The other specials are bone in or sirloin. There is also pork butt for $1/lb Screen shot 2015-03-25 at 12.32.12 AMat HEB. Thats the lowest I’ve seen in a while, and if you’ve got freezer space it’s worth stocking up.  Here at Chez Cheepie we smoke them, but they’re also super simple to do in a crock pot or oven, just don’t let your bbq fanatic friends know.

Fiesta has the big sacks of chicken legs on sale again, with the Fiesta Limit in place.  Remember these aren’t quite as pretty or as large as ones not bought in giant sacks, and may need some knife skills to be presentable. Given they’re 69c/lb, you’ll have room to practice.  Don’t know what to do with all that chicken? Try this post from a while back.

Buy strawberries at Sprouts this week, the other places are more than twice as much.If you want organic, Wheatsville has them.

Apples are insanely cheap–conventional at 50c/lb at HEB, and organic for 48c/lb at Sprouts.

HEB’s got a product I haven’t noticed before that they’re calling Stoplight Peppers. It’s three colors of peppers in a package (get it, like a stop light? except in HEBland stoplights don’t have green. which pretty much fits with Austin traffic) for about 77c/pepper. Check them, though, since this is a classic produce manager way to try to get rid of stuff that might be bruised/dented/otherwise not perfect.

CORN! Yay! I know, I may be irrationally happy about this, but I love corn. Corn pudding, creamed corn, corn right off the cob–it’s all good.  And this week from Fri-Sun they’re 8/$1 at Sprouts.  So belly up to the big cardboard box and wedge yourself in between the other picky corn people and start peeling some husks back to make sure you don’t get a buggy one, then take ’em home to enjoy.

Here’s the specials. Happy Shopping!

HEB

cantaloupe                                                             87c/ea (C15)

Cameo or Braeburn apples                                 50c/lb (DD)

Stoplight bell peppers, 3/pkg                             $2.27/ea   (DD)

Boston butt pork roast, whole, bone-in              $1/lb

HCF drumsticks or thighs                                    $1/lb

Randalls

pork loin chops, bone-in                                     $1.69/lb

Hillshire Farm smoked sausage, 32oz               $5   Friday ONLY

Sprouts

strawberries, 1lb.                                                           88c/ea  (DD)

apple pears                                                                    33c/ea

mangos                                                                           25c/ea (C15)Screen shot 2015-03-25 at 12.36.55 AM

red bell peppers                                                            50c/ea (DD)

organic red, orange or yellow bell peppers              $1.50/ea (DD)

Hass avocados                                                                50c/ea (C15)

organic red delicious apples                                        48c/lb (DD)

organic kale                                                                    $1.50/bunch (DD)

bscb                                                                                $1.69/lb

pork loin roast or chops                                               $1.99/lb

bulk roasted cashew pieces                                        $4.99/lb

Monterey Jack cheese                                                  $3.99/lb

Fri-Sun only

corn                                                                                  8/$1

Halo mandarins, 2lb sack                                         $1.98/ea

cage free eggs, dozen                                                $2.50/ea

Sprouts frozen vegetables, 16oz.                             99c/ea

walnuts, bulk                                                              $4.99/lb

Fiesta

live Louisiana crawfish                                             $1.89/lb

pork sirloin chops, bone-in                                     $1.49/lb

red or green seedless grapes                                $1.88/lb (DD)

chicken leg quarters, large bag                             69c/lb (Fiesta Limit)

large avocados                                                         97c/ea (C15)

Fiesta shredded cheese, 8oz.                                $1.50/ea

Wheatsville

organic strawberries, 1lb.                                       $2.99/ea (DD)

organic mini peppers                                             $2.49/pk   (usually $3.79) (DD)

Weekly Plan, Slightly Delayed

I’ve gotten Monday’s 3 points locked in before writing the plan, as is practically tradition at this point.  This week is a back-to-basics week, with both Tuesday and Wednesday sticking with the weekly outline, and a night out built in. 

photo

Monday night, winning!

This week should be a gimme, but by typing that I’ve tempted fate and will now find myself somehow feeding the kids ramen every night, I’m sure.

  • Mon: pork blade steak, macaroni and cheese, watermelon, green beans
  • Tues: Taco Tuesday!
  • Wed:  Prince Spaghetti Day!
  • Thurs:  night out
  • Fri:  stir-fry beef, rice, egg drop soup

The Happy Ad Wednesday post will be up in the morning, so get have your shopping visor at the ready! What? You don’t have a shopping visor? Just me? Okay, then.

Cheep Cheep!

Dinner Score, Week 19

 I was pretty determined this week. I was also a bit optimistic about Thursday, which was the day we went to the rodeo and of course ate fried food on sticks and were exhausted when we got home.  As is traditional for tired and hungry people with phones, we ordered food and were grateful, even if it wasn’t the plan.

  • Mon:  bratwurst, baked potatoes, grapes, watermelon, carrots
  • Tues:  corned beef, cabbage, potatoes, fruit
  • Wed: Prince Spaghetti Day! pasta with beans and sausage, spinach salad, fruit + veg
  • Thurs:  dumplings, egg drop soup, pork fried rice, fruit + veg
  • Fri: fried halibut, coleslaw, hush puppies, fruit + veg

I liked this plan, and not just because there was corned beef involved. Most of this is very low work stuff, with the exception of frying fish, which is basically taking my life in my hands given that Tiny wants to dance in the kitchen as soon as I start cooking. Initially, I’d thought this would be a good week for Boy and Tiny to help, but with the rodeo exhaustion and Friday night crazies, this was a week off for the kids.

  • Mon: nailed it!IMG_1992
  • Tues: nailed it!
  • Wed: pork fried rice, carrots, raspberries, blueberries
  • Thurs: takeout Indian food. mmmmm, chicken korma!
  • Fri: fried catfish, cornbread, coleslaw, pickles, peaches

IMG_1914IMG_1917IMG_190711 points! The crowd goes wild!

No points for Thursday, with the minimally healthy (and delicious) takeout from Tarka, but 3 points for every other day except Wednesday which only got two for being on the wrong day.  I’m pretty happy with how our week went.

And to you see that happy Friday meal up there with the fried fish? I told DH that I thought I might just start frying everything it turned out so well.

Tune in tomorrow for the plan for this week. Cheep cheep!