Friday, February 7, 2014

A Valentine's Day Special

Kroger has whole chickens and chicken drumsticks and thighs for 89 cents a pound. Honeysuckle 93% lean ground turkey is $1.99 a pound with a digital coupon. Peeled baby carrots are 99 cents a pound, strawberries are two pounds for $4.00, or $2.00 a pound, and asparagus is $1.99 a pound.

IGA has seasoned ground turkey in one pound packages for $1.00.  One-pound bags of frozen vegetables are $1.00. Assorted pork chops are $1.59 per pound. These prices are good through Sunday, February 9.

Aldi has cantaloupe again for $1.49 each, and blueberries are $1.49 for 6 ounces. That’s almost $4.00 a pound, and I wouldn’t mention them except that they go so well with cantaloupe and Valentine’s Day is next week, after all. Cantaloupe and blueberries would make a good Valentine’s Day splurge, should you feel so inclined. Strawberries are $1.99 a pound, which again isn’t a great price, but would make a good Valentine’s Day splurge.

Marsh has boneless skinless chicken breasts in the family pack for $1.79 a pound. The pork combo packs (center rib chops, country style ribs and sirloin roast, all from the loin) are $1.29 a pound, limit two, with $25 in additional purchases. Not nearly as good a deal as the 99 cents a pound that they were just a few months ago, but not bad. Watch how much you pay for the “additional purchases,” or the extra costs may make the pork not such a good deal after all. Asparagus is $1.99 a pound, which isn’t great (it was $1.49 a pound at Kroger last week), and Red Flame seedless grapes (my favorite!) are $1.28 a pound. Hillshire Smoked Sausage in 14-oz to 16-oz packages are two for $5.00, or about $2.50 per pound. I’m not sure whether that’s a particularly good price. It may just seem like a good price because it really appeals to me today for some reason.

(Incidentally, that’s exactly why you should have a price book that lists the regular and sale prices of things you buy frequently or would like to buy if it is ever reasonably priced. It’s way too easy to justify buying something you want “because it’s on sale,” even when it’s not at a good price. I haven’t update my price book for several months, and prices have definitely changed over those months. That’s one of my goals for February, to update my price book, at least for the things I use most often and those I include in my recipes and menus here.)

How about a Valentine’s Day dinner for two this week, instead of supper for four? I’ll keep it inexpensive, but it will go over $1.50 per person. How does Chicken Fettuccini Alfredo, asparagus, garlic bread (just make sure you both eat it!) and chocolate dipped strawberries sound?

CHICKEN FETTUCCINE ALFREDO is a snap to make and somewhat reminiscent of that romantic movie Lady and the Tramp. (Remember the spaghetti scene?) If you don't eat wheat, you can put the chicken and sauce over spaghetti squash, broccoli, zucchini, or other vegetables, or just eat it plain, adding a salad to make it a full meal.

Selecting and cooking ASPARAGUS is really a matter of personal preference. Some people like the very thin stalks. I prefer the big fat ones. Some people like the stalks cooked whole. I prefer it cut into bite sized pieces before I cook it. Some people like it boiled or steamed. I prefer it sautéed in butter, with maybe some garlic. I’ll tell you how to cook it the way I like it, but you can cook it however you like. A pound of asparagus serves two to four people. With everything else in this meal, and especially the rich Alfredo sauce, I’m going with half a pound for two people. Don’t forget that you have to cut off the tough end of the stalk, which may be a lot or it may be just a bit. You won’t end up with as much as you might think you will, because of that waste.

GARLIC BREAD isn't really necessary, of course, but nice to have. (And I have a bit of a problem thinking of garlic bread as a romantic food, but as long as you both eat it…) Try to get just one small loaf of French or Italian bread – something like a hoagie roll. Check the prices, though. Sometimes that single roll can cost as much as a whole loaf of bread! To save some time, you can serve the loaf whole and cold and you can each butter your own at the table.

Not much says Valentine’s Day like CHOCOLATE COVERED STRAWBERRIES! I haven’t priced them in stores recently, but I remember that they used to be a dollar each at a candy store about twenty years ago. What an indulgence! What a ridiculous price to pay for something so easy to make!

So how much will this dinner cost? The Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo will cost about $3.50. $1.00 for the asparagus. The bread, about 50 cents. It depends on the bread you get. Assuming fifteen strawberries per pound, they’re about 20 cents each, so let’s say another dollar for the Chocolate Covered Strawberries. Total for the meal, about $6.00, or about $3.00 each. More than my meals usually run, but it is for Valentine’s Day, after all!

Of course, that’s a bit deceptive, because you had to buy a whole pound of strawberries, and the rest of the asparagus and the Parmesan and the cream, which probably cost more than you would normally spend for things. But it’s still a pretty reasonable price for a romantic dinner for two.

No comments:

Post a Comment