Thursday, June 19, 2014

Chicken Legs, Fruit Salad, and the Weekly Specials with Mary Anne

IGA has peaches for 99 cents a pound. Corn on the cob is six ears for $2.00, or 33 cents an ear. Vidalia onions are 79 cents a pound, or a three pound bag for $2.29, which is 76 cents a pound. Prices are good through Sunday, June 22.

Aldi has lots of fruit on sale. Mangos are 39 cents each again. Peaches, plums, nectarines and grapes are all $1.98 for a two pound package, or 99 cents a pound. Honeydew melons are 99 cents each. Pineapples are $1.49 each and cantaloupes are $1.89 each. Prices are good through next Tuesday, June 24.

Kroger has boneless, skinless chicken breasts and thighs for $1.99 a pound. Four half gallons of milk are $5.00, or $1.25 each, or $2.50 per gallon. Cream cheese is $1.00 for 8 ounces. Eggs are two dozen for $3.00, or $1.50 per dozen. Prices are good through next Wednesday, June 25.

It’s back to chicken again. I hope you’re stocking up as much as you can on other meats when they’re on sale! It’s hard to do on a tight budget, but it can make a big difference and provide variety in the future.

CHICKEN IN LIME calls for two limes, but they can run anywhere from 50 cents to a dollar each! (They’re 79 cents each this week at Kroger.) Nice if you can afford them, but bottled lime juice will do instead. Figure on about 2 tablespoons of juice per lime. To get the most juice out of your lime, you can nuke it for about 25 seconds (let it cool before juicing it), roll it hard under your palm on the counter, and/or use a juicer or a reamer. Or, if you don’t have a juicer or reamer, nuke it and/or roll it and then cut it and squeeze it to get out as much juice as possible, then scrape it with a spoon to get out every last drop. And don’t forget to grate off the zest before you juice it. The grated zest freezes beautifully. A batch of CHICKEN IN LIME costs about $3.50. Serve it with ZUCCHINI AND CARROTS and give everyone a couple of fresh plums for dessert for a $6.00 meal.

GALLETTO MARINARA is basically just chicken in spaghetti sauce. You can use canned or jarred sauce. Just pick a basic tomato sauce, not a meat sauce or a cheese sauce. You can often find a 24 ounce can of Hunt’s for $1.00, and that’s what I’m assuming you’re using. You could fancy it up a bit if you wanted to by sautéing some onions and garlic in a bit of oil, then adding the can of sauce and some extra basil and oregano and cooking it for five minutes or so, but you don’t need to. Using Hunt’s sauce, this will cost about $4.25. Serve with a simple salad of half a head of lettuce and an oil and vinegar dressing for another dollar and finish it off with half a cantaloupe for a total of just about exactly $6.00.

And finally, a fusion of cultures – chicken marinated in a mixture of Italian dressing and teriyaki sauce, then grilled. FUSED GRILLED CHICKEN will cost about $3.40, or less if you make your own Italian dressing and/or teriyaki sauce. Slice a big zucchini (a pound or more) and throw it on the grill, too, and for dessert serve each person a cup of HOMEMADE YOGURT topped with about half a cup of chopped peaches. Total cost – almost exactly $6.00.

Of course, the best thing to do with this week’s sales is to make a huge fruit salad. Three-fourths of a pound of peaches, three-fourths of a pound of plums, and half a honeydew melon, all cut into bite-size pieces and mixed together, makes over six cups of salad, or over a cup and a half per person. Put a cup of cottage cheese in each of six big bowls, divide the fruit salad evenly among the bowls and sprinkle each bowl with a fourth of a cup of sliced almonds, and you’ve got a light, delicious supper that’s perfect for a hot summer evening. It comes to just over $6.00, but if you short each serving by a tablespoon of cottage cheese you’ll get the cost down below $6.00. HOMEMADE YOGURT instead of cottage cheese will bring the cost down by about $2.50, to just $3.50 or about 90 cents per person. 

50 Cent Breakfasts

A honeydew melon for 99 cents is a bargain, assuming it’s of reasonable size. A large honeydew contains about eight cups of melon balls; a small one about 6 cups. That’s about 12.5 cents a cup from a large melon or about 17 cents a cup from a small one. At either price, it fits right into a budget breakfast. A HONEYDEW SMOOTHIE, for example, only costs about 45 cents for two servings of not quite two cups each, or about 22-1/2 cents per serving. Using HOMEMADE YOGURT is key to keeping the price down. Commercial yogurt will add another 35 cents or more, or about 20 cents per serving.

If you’ve planned far enough in advance, you can make a FROZEN HONEYDEW SMOOTHIE. Prepare the melon chunks and put them in a single layer, not touching, on a cookie sheet. Freeze, then transfer the frozen chunks to a plastic bag and keep in freezer until you want to make the smoothies. If you’ve got room in the freezer, prepare and freeze a bunch of cantaloupe and honeydew chunks to use in smoothies later, when they’re not on sale. Two servings of between a cup and half and two cups will cost about 70 cents, or about 35 cents each.

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