Friday, September 8, 2006

Weeknight Savior: The Salad Bar

The grocery game has been paying off. I am spending a lot less on my regular weekly grocery trips when I take into account what I have on hand, and what I purchase in bulk. Overall I am spending less, and with those savings yesterday, I was able to purchase a very nice bedding set for our bedroom. I've long been neglecting our room, and it's exciting to finally get the opportunity to add something to it. I'm not done with it yet, but it's starting to look more comfy, relaxing, and chic. Versus the newly married look we had going on. Here's a little peek so far. Up next I think I am going to look at adding a pair of matching side tables and some lamps. There are so many times that Andy is ready to crawl into bed, and I'd like to stay up reading or something, and the lamp is on his side of the bed. So I never get the opportunity to read in bed. It's so nice to finally see the room start to take shape. It's also going to need an area rug and some window treatments, so we'll see how long it actually takes me to complete the room. Could be a while.

So with all the running around we did yesterday, I was really tempted to call in for pizza or take-out. But I knew that would blow a bit of my grocery budget, not to mention, it's not exactly the healthiest alternative. So, bearing a craving for Asian flavors, we headed to the grocery store. Wandering through the meat department, I found large boneless pork loins buy one get one free with my savings card. Score! One of those roasts alone could be three meals for us. So I added two to my cart, and started to think about what I could do with pork quickly, as time was a factor last night. A quick wander through the deli, and inspiration struck. A salad bar! I was quite excited when a quick perusal found carrots, onions, tri-color peppers, mushrooms, sugar snap peas, and baby corn. All ingredients for a stir fry. So I loaded up a box with what I needed and headed off to the Asian aisle for a quick stir fry sauce. I settled on a preservative and MSG free Sesame Teriyaki and we headed for home, since I already have plenty of basmati rice in my pantry at home.

A short 2o minutes later, I had dinner on the table, as well as 3 family sized pork roasts wrapped up and in the freezer. And the total cost for dinner? Let's do some math shall we? I had rice on hand. A scant portion of pork, we'll say it was about $3.00 worth. Add to that one bottle of sauce at $2.19 and the veggies prepped for me at $4.67. That is less than $10.00 to feed a family of four, plus myself for lunch today. Had I bought each individual vegetable, I would have spent at least twice that, plus I would have all these extra veggies on hand that need to be used before spoiling. And I usually make my own stir fry sauce, but this sauce was so good, and it also didn't have all the "bad stuff" in it, that I will eagerly purchase it again. The next time I have a hankering for a stir fry, we will head to the salad bar again.

Tonight be sure and check out the Cheese blog. Sorely in need of an update, I sent Andy off to the cheese shop yesterday, and tonight we are going to feast on some of our favorite Irish cheeses, as well as a stunning new Welsh cheese, so be sure and check that out sometime this weekend. Tomorrow we're off to the reunion. I am taking a Broccoli Tortellini Salad, and a Caramel Frosted Chocolate Chip Zucchini Cake. I will try to remember to take pictures so I can share reviews. They are both new to me, but look great for the weekend.

Happy Friday everyone!


DEBTective said...

That's what I'm talkin' about, babe! Great job on sticking to your budget and not letting your cash get away from you. If only everyone else was as smart as you. Great job!

Erika said...

Lol. You've got a neat website debtective- thanks for stopping by.

Although if I was really smart, I would have saved my savings instead of spending them-don't you think?