Sunday, January 16, 2011

Stretching the food dollar

Thursday before we made our trip to Sam's Club, I had a long talk with myself.  You see, any trip that involves our being in the metropolitan Kansas City area is fraught with temptations to eat out, at least for me.  Cliff prefers home cooking, but he's always glad to oblige me when I want to eat out.  
We're losing weight around here, both of us.  We're also budgeting, practicing for retirement.  So before we left, I gave myself the following pep talk.
"Self," I said, "we are going to be in the vicinity of an Olive Garden restaurant.  You know very well that the soup, salad, and breadsticks meal will cost fifteen bucks for the two of us, plus a $5 tip (If you can't afford to tip, you can't afford to eat out).  Twenty dollars would buy a lot of beans and rice or chicken leg quarters.  Also, foolish Self, you know that the Zuppa Toscana you always order is 170 calories per bowl, and you always have at least two bowls.  Furthermore, dear Self, one breadstick is 140 calories, and you never stop at less than three." 
We won't even talk about the sodium involved.  Probably three times as much as we should have in one day.  If you eat out ANYWHERE, you are getting too much sodium.  It's a given. 
The talk did me good, but while we were in Sam's Club I realized I had not prepared anything ahead of time for our dinner at home; by the time we got home, I wouldn't have time to fix much of anything before Cliff had to leave for work.  So I bought one of their roasted chickens for five dollars.   
Back home, I microwaved a baked potato and cooked some frozen vegetables, and dinner was ready within twenty minutes.  
Friday I used 2 1/2 cups of the leftover roast chicken in a new recipe, "Healthified" chicken tortilla casserole (very yummy!).  That was our main dish both Friday and Saturday, as well as Cliff's lunch for work Friday night.  Today there's just enough of that roast chicken left for a chef salad; that will be our Sunday dinner.  
A five dollar chicken can go a long way, baby.


I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

I've heard that Sam's chickens are wonderful too. I'm making my own roast chicken today for dinner. I love having the leftovers. They will probably last me most of the week for sure. But there is much that can be done with leftover chicken. Glad you stayed budget wise and health wise. I'd say you have a lot of will power there at your house. Have a wonderful Sunday!

patsy said...

I had the same thought about the Brits and English sparrows, great minds think alike.
The chicken was a good buy and easy to fix.

Vicki said...

I hope that you took before pictures and will take pictures when you reach your goal. I'd love to see some of your "healthified" recipes. Thanks for the motivation. Vicki

ingasmile said...

Good for you! Sometimes those pep talks really work!


V. Furnas said...

I love that! I have to give myself pep talks too. It is nice to know I am not alone. Great job keeping the calories and cost low!

Forty Pound Sack said...

I love Walmart's $5 chicken but I have to get two ~ my hubs eats a whole one by himself. BTW - he's not a big guy and he's in perfect health. I have no idea how he can eat like he does, but if I could bottle it we'd be very, very rich.


We eat late at night, around 9pm. I also forgot to thaw something out for dinner. So when we were out, I got my roasted chicken for $3.29. It was 7:30 pm. They had reduced it for the end of the day sales. Was that a bargain or what?