Friday, November 2, 2012

A Rather Late 4 Under $40

Yep, I'm in need of grace this week. Our lives are crazy right now and so 4 under $40 just had to take a back-seat this week. I could have done it Monday, but we finished up gymnastics and baseball. On Tuesday The Preacher took me to a super-happening Association meeting (and yes, do skip this if you ever have the opportunity to go). On Halloween our church folks tied enough balloon animals to fill a naval destroyer for all the trick-or-treaters that descend on our little town. And yesterday, well yesterday was my birthday! (34, because I know you wanted to know.)

So, if it's not too late and you are in need of some extra meals for this weekend or just want to get a head start on next week here you go -

Day 1 - Frozen Lasagne
Stouffer's Lasagne (the gigantic size) is on sale for $12.98. That's a bit above the $10/meal I shoot for, but this should feed your crew at least twice. Or if you're having company tonight it's perfect - just make sure you give yourself enough time to get it baked. Add a crusty French bread from the bakery for $1.50 and a head of lettuce and carrots and you have the prefect Italian dinner for $16.

Day 2 - French Bread Pizzas

Ok, two "Italian" meals in two days - just change it up and don't serve them in a row. ;o) Thomas's English muffins are BOGO and that makes them $2.10/pack. (I went ahead and bought two.) A super exciting find for these guys was the fancy mozzarella in the cheese fridge (just opposite the bakery) is only $2.99! Go for the good stuff in the balls and slice it thin and one piece will do for each muffin - PERFECTION! Now, my favorite pizza sauce is LE Roselli's Pizza Sauce. Unfortunately, I did not see this kind in the pizza sauce section, but I did find the marinara with the pasta sauces. Any other pizza sauce you can get for under $3. I did splurge on the mini pepperonis ($3.88), but I couldn't resist the fact they will look so cute on those little pizzas. So, if this is all you want on your pizza you've got it for $8. Check your pantry for mushrooms, use some of your frozen ground beef or grab a red bell pepper ($1.50) and chop it up nicely for some extra umph to your dish. NOTE: You may want to toast your muffins a bit before you pizza-fy them just so they don't get soggy once the sauce is added. Pop 'em in the oven at 350 until your cheese is melted and you're good to go.

Day 3 - Croissant Chicken  

Here, Lynn, is your long awaited recipe! I apologize this one wasn't done sooner. I hope you froze your chicken from last week and bought the crescent rolls because this is a good one. This will put you over your $40 for the week if you don't have these in your fridge, but it's a great recipe to keep around and serve when guests visit.

 If you can't read this email me and I'll type it out for you. After you boil your chicken retain your broth rather than opening a new can for only 1/2 a cup. Usually I serve this with rice and something nice and green. But since I'm STILL working through that 10 lbs of potatoes from a month ago I'll serve my chicken with those tonight. (FYI - they have 10lb bags on sale again and it's a great deal, but I think I'll skip it this time because I'm tired of potatoes!) If you have this stuff in your fridge/freezer this may be FREE for you this week - yeah, you already paid for it, but I'm talking about this week! If you need frozen broccoli go for the Laura Lynn big bags. They're about $6, but you can use them in several sittings. Asparagus looked good too, but it's not on sale at about $3.50 a bundle.

Day 4 - Black Beans and Rice

This is one of my favorites! And I have found I love it even more with brown rice (Mahatma $0.96/bag). To make brown rice not so sticky fry it first in a little butter and have your boiling water ready in a kettle to pour into the rice when it's golden brown. If you use the brown rice rather than the long grain white then cook it according to package directions and add it to the beans when they're done. Otherwise follow the recipe. I bought black beans the other week, but even if you didn't they're not going to run you more than $2.00. (Also check the ethnic foods isle if you prefer the Goya brand of beans.)  All-in-all a meal for under $10 and likely under $5.

Recipe - Dice a med onion (pennies), 1 garlic clove, a green and a red bell pepper ($3). Heat 2T olive oil in a large saucepan (I like my Lodge Dutch oven) and cook veggies until tender. Add 1.5 cups of tomatoes ($2) and cook 8-10 min until thick. Season with salt and pepper and stir in beans (prepped per bag instructions), 1 cup uncooked long grain rice , and water. Cover and reduce heat and cook 25 min until rice is tender.

I want to add that a sweet friend was trying to tell me this week that his wife won't let him to go the grocery store any more until she checks 4 for $40! There was a lot going on when he was talking  and it wasn't until we got home and The Preacher was telling me what he had said I realized I missed the compliment! 

Enjoy this weeks meals, late though they may be! The next few weeks should see some super fun deals in the Ingles circular just in time for the holidays. If I'm going to be this late again I'll let you know in advance!


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