The main focus of this blog is something I’m passionate about – – upscale entertaining on a beer budget. I will still keep up on my side column links to bargain events around San Diego county, but more of my focus will be on entertaining at home.
Currently, I’m unemployed. However, even when I was gainfully employed and could afford to spend more, I loved the challenge of entertaining on a bargain budget. I know what you’re thinking, “Yeah, I buy stuff on sale when I invite people over.” I’m not talking “on sale,” I’m talking “bargain.” For example, at certain times grocery chains will have Foster Farms whole chickens “on sale” for $.99/lb. I like to wait for the price to go down to $.69/lb. Now that, is a “bargain.” When that happens, I like to buy the limit (and maybe go back the next day), cook one, and put the rest in the freezer.
Did you know you can save yourself a lot of money by buying a whole chicken instead of buying one already cut up? I looked at the online prices for Vons & Albertsons on May 11th, and you can save $2.45 – $6.00 per chicken. (Depending on which store you choose and using a 3.5 lb. – 5 lb. chicken.) If you bought a chicken twice a month, that would be over a $120 each year saved by cutting up a chicken yourself!
So, what did I feed 20 people for $20? I served approximately 18 lbs. of corned beef plus some cabbage and potatoes. The corned beef was $.99/lb., cabbage was $.15/lb. and $.99 for a 10 lb. bag of potatoes. I play Texas Hold’em No Limit poker tournaments with a set of smart players who love to eat, and nobody went home hungry! Every time we had a break to color up chips, we had a few players going back for seconds until there was nothing left.
Each week I will be sharing my takes on current “bargains” at the local markets. I will be posting withing the next 24 hrs. my bargains for the coming week. Here is a sample of what I wrote last week for my Frugal Gourmet Foodies http://www.meetup.com/The-Frugal-Gourmet-Foodies/
Bargains for the week of May 6 – May 11th
Good to see stores competing to have the best price for several same items this week:
Alaskan King Crab – in the 16-20 or 16-22 count size, but Ralph $6.99/lb. is the cheapest.
Corn – Sprouts $.19/ear beats Frazier Farms 5/$1
Bone-in Ribeye Steak – Albertsons, Vons $3.97/lb.
Blackberries – Stater Bro/Sprouts $.99/5.6 oz basket
Avocados – Frazier Farms 5 medium/$1
Roma tomatoes – Frazier Farms $.77/lb
Sliced Mushrooms – Frazier Farms $.77/8 oz. pkg.
Russet Potatoes – Stater Bro. $.99/5 lb. bag only Fri 5/7 – Sun 5/9 (Note: Frazier Farms is actually cheaper per pound if you don’t mind buying 10 lb. at $1.50.
Beware of the lobster tails at Albertsons for only $3.99! They are only 3 oz. each, which comes to $21.28/lb.!!! And you may say, but this is only the tail so I don’t have to pay for the weight of the shell on the claws & body. But I say, I can get over 3.5 lbs. of whole Maine lobster for that same $21.28!