Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Some things are just convenient

This is an easy stockpile post because there isn't a whole lot out there this week that's making me froth at the store savings card. I hate weeks like this because if you're just starting out with me on the stockpile blog, you may be thinking, 'I don't get it, what's the big deal?'

But those of you who have been with me since the beginning may have so much stocked and are spending so little on groceries that you're looking at the $4.99/lb whole tenderloin (limit 1) at Basha's and thinking, 'Yes! Filet Mignon! Fire up the grill!'

That's because as the stockpile builds and the shopping savvy sharpens, there's money to spend on the luxury items (i.e., items that cost more than $1.75/lb!) like the sundried tomatoes and pine nuts of last week. Think about that tenderloin in these terms - 'A lackluster steak dinner at Outback will cost me at least $12.00 (just for me) and probably put me over my fat grams for the week. I can grill filet mignon at home and feed the entire family a quick gourmet meal for that same $12.'

Actually, it will probably cost you less because you're handing out 4 to 6 oz steaks with scratch mashed potatoes (remember that 10 pound bag you bought a couple of weeks ago?) and grilled tomatoes (67c/lb and 77c/lb at Sunflower this week).

I'm not certain how big those tenderloins are, I haven't purchased mine yet, but I'll presume about 10 pounds, so there's your $50 for the week.

Now then, if you have a bit extra this week, Albertson's is having a stock-up sale that's worth looking at. You can buy the max number of items and spend about $21. Most of these are staples except the except the banquet frozen items, and all make for easy lunches for the kids. These items are on the very last page, the back of the skinny page in this week's Albertsons ad.

4 can tuna
4 cans sardines
6 Banquet pot pies
4 Banquet value meals
12 Albertson's mac and cheese
10 8-ounce packages of Albertsons chunk cheese

Also, if you have another 2 bucks, hit up Food City for 4 packages of Bar-S bologna at 49c package. (Don't forget to get some bananas, they're only 33c/lb this week)

Okay, that's it. It's a little bit different from my typical stockpile posts, but you work with what you got, y'know?

EEK!!!!!!! I forgot to tell you what to have that butcher do with the whole tenderloin!!! Have him cut it into 3/4 inch to 1 inch steaks. I prefer the 3/4 inch steaks because they cook faster and just a little more evenly. Those who like a really red center should go with 1 inch steaks. I like warm red, not cool red, so I go with 3/4 inch.

Also, if you're expecting a crowd, having the butcher cut a portion of the tenderloin into a roast will make for a really special meal, although you'll get fewer steaks. Repackage, foodsaver and freeze the steaks when you get home.

EDITED TO ADD: Seriously? I have to tell you how to make mashed potatoes? Don't feel bad, it was a mystery to me for a long time. It was years before I realized they grew in the ground and didn't come flaked from a box. Here it is, easy mashed potatoes:

1) wash potatoes. DO NOT PEEL, lots of great vitamins just under the skin! Also lots of good flavor there.

2) put in pot

3) cover with COLD water a couple of inches about the potatoes.

4) turn stovetop to HIGH, and bring to a boil

5) lower heat to whatever you have to so you maintain a rolling boil (in other words, you don't want hot water baptizing everything within 2 feet of your stovetop.)

6) after about 20 or 30 minutes, stick a fork in a potato. If it goes in easily, the potatoes are done. If not, cook another 10 minutes. You'll get a feel for it.

7) when done, turn off heat, dump water off, get out your potato masher (it's that utensil with the round, flat bottom you inherited from your grandmother that you've been wondering what to do with.) If you don't have a potato masher, use a can of soup or vegetable to do the mashing. (wash the mashing end of it with soap and water first, please)

8) Mash potatoes directly in pot. Mash as in smoosh. Add some butter, add some milk, smoosh some more. Stop at whatever point you think they're smooshed enough. If your potatoes HAVE to be smooth just like the ones out of the box, either resign yourself to a lot more time messing with an electric mixer, bag this 'from scratch' idea and add water to that stuff in the box, OR, give yourself a chance to enjoy minimally processed, mostly smooshed potatoes.

9) during step number 8, add what you want to the mix that will make you happy - garlic powder, onion powder, actual cooked garlic cloves and onion slices, leftover veggies you got hanging around, parmesan cheese, shredded other kinds of cheese, leftover bacon, whatever strikes your fancy. Potatoes are endlessly versatile.

10) eat.

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