11.18.2011

where to get your Thanksgiving dinner ingredients

I will be hosting Thanksgiving dinner this year which probed me to do some extra research, detailed organization (as you see in a previous post) and attempt to get the biggest bang for my buck, sticking to my grocery budget. With food prices continually on the up climb, I knew this would be a bit of a challenge. 

But, good for you locals, I saved my list, compared prices and can now pass along where you will get the best deal on some typical Thanksgiving food items. Keep in mind that my list is for a dinner of nine and wanting some leftovers.
...
  • Gourmet cheese: If you are looking for smaller portions of gourmet cheese, GROCERY OUTLET has servings for under $5
  • Wine: If you are looking for a few bottles of a good or local table wine, GROCERY OUTLET has $10 wines marked down to $3.99; If you are wanting more quantity over quality, COSTCO Yellow Tails, champagne and other house wines in the momma-size bottle are cheaper by $1 here. (Compared to Sherm's) 
  • Turkey: COSTCO! Compared to all the other grocery stores, including Sherm's and Grocery Outlet - Costco has Foster Farms turkey's for $.89 per lb compared to Sherm's at $1.39 and up per pound.
  • Stuffing: Costco has a package of 3, 16 oz. bags of Pepperidge farm herb and other types for $6.59 ($2.19 per 16 oz.); Sherm's has Stove Top 6 oz. (regular) boxes for $1.19 each and Mrs. Cubbison's Stuffing at $1.68 for two 6 oz. servings. Therefore, COSTCO is again, biggest bang for your buck if you want more stuffing.
  • Rolls: Until the 24th, COSTCO has a coupon for $2.50 off a package of 5, 8-pack Pillsbury Crescent Rolls (total of 40 rolls per pack; originally $7.89). Coupon limit is 3. This brings you to $1.07 per 8-pack. Can't beat that anywhere.
  • Pam Spray: COSTCO coupon brought a 2-pack of 12 oz. Pam Spray bottles to $4.89 ($2.44 per bottle).Sherm's price is $3.58 for a one, Pam Spray smaller bottle & even beats generic brand (i.e. Western Family). 
  • Cinnamon Sticks: Wish I would have known this in my past stick buying life - COSTCO has an 8-oz package of McCormick Cinnamon Sticks for $5.79; Sherm's (in the Hispanic foods section) has a bag/2 oz. at $1.89 - $7.56 for 8-ounces. COSTCO prevails again.
  • Olive Oil: Grocery Outlet & SHERM'S beats out Costco (unless there is a coupon) by $2. Both have 1 liter bottles for around $5.98 and up. 
  • Chicken Broth: SHERM'S has 2 cans for $1 ($.50 each) of Swanson's Chicken Broth; a Costco 12-pack would bring you to about $1 per can for the same 14-ounces. 
  • Cheddar Cheese: A Bandon cheddar 2.5 lb. block is still on sale at COSTCO for $5.99; Sherm's has a 2 lb. Bandon cheddar block for $4.98. Costco then wins, charging $1.99 per .5 lb vs. $2.49. 
  • Half & Half: COSTCO has a 1/2 gallon for $2.99 vs. Sherm's at $3.58 and up for a half gallon. 
  • Gravy:  I'm not a gravy maker and the Costco Turkey Gravy all-ready made/just heat containers are SO yummy! 2-pack/60-ounces is $6.99, coming to $3.49 per jug and that equaling a penny per ounce. Packet gravy mixes are at Sherm's and other places for 4/$1 for 1 oz. and up. Can't beat COSTCO.
  • Eggs: COSTCO organic 5-dozen for $7.05; Sherm's 5-dozen for $7.99.
  • Butter Sticks: COSTCO Kirkland Butter sticks are 4/1b. sticks for $9.59, coming to $2.39 per 1 lb. block; SHERM'S has their brand for $2.39 or Umpqua for $2.68 per lb. block. So, about the same (but local is always better if the price is close!). 
  • Cream of Chicken/Mushroom Soup: SHERM'S for $.58 each for regular 10 3/4-oz cans or 3 for $5, 24-oz. cans.
  • Russet Potatoes: 15 lb. bag is at Sherm's and GROCERY OUTLET for $2.79 per bag. Costco's is $5.97 for a 20-lb bag ($.18 vs. $.29 per lb. 
tips tips tips
Now, I would say couponing is a huge tip. I am trying to learn how to coupon. Make sure to research online or in the paper at least what your local stores are offering. 

Fred Meyer/Kroger, which I usually get my small portion, fresh produce items at (if they don't look to spiffy at Sherm's), will allow you to load manufacturer's coupons right onto your rewards card, automatically deducting them. Easy for someone a beginner couponer like myself!

Just because a more expensive store (i.e. Safeway or Albertson's) is going to give you a free turkey with $150 purchase, doesn't mean you are saving $$. You're still spending more.

Not shopping with a baby for once allowed me to be a crazy lady and get out my calculator, looking at how much you are actually getting for the price. Cheap grocery stores like Sherm's or Grocery Outlet knows how to trick customers in pricing things at $1 or less, but the amount you are getting is also less. If it is a food or item that will last, go with the bigger amount/biggest bang for your buck.
Also, from the old lady down aisle 15 who really wanted me to know her knowledge: "LOOK AT EVERYTHING ON THE LABEL!" she snapped at me while I was grabbing my low-sodium chicken broth. She said that in most cases, when you look at the percentage, the sodium is only 1-percent lower and the price is higher. She was in-deed correct for Campbell's Tomato Soup: 19-percent sodium on a "low-sodium" marked can vs. 20-percent sodium on a regular can. Regular cans are always on sale vs. low-sodium ones.

Here are some good coupon sites for grocery:
http://www.ilovecostco.com/blog-category/costco-coupons (always gets coupons up before book is out)

Happy shopping & happy Thanksgiving!

11.17.2011

strawberry cheesecake crepes

Mm Mm good I say! A friend wanted this recipe, so I thought I would share it with you all. It is from my momma and is pretty easy. Easy enough that I've never messed them up. 

Chris and I now make these together every Christmas morning. You can also pre-make the crepes and then just fill and bake. This recipe will make plenty for two, so you'll have leftovers. It is strawberry cheesecake in the morning: bliss. 

Strawberry Cheesecake Crepes 
30 minutes; makes 10-12 crepes
I serve the sauce on the side for an option
.....
      [Crepe batter]      
3 eggs
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup flour
  1 cup milk
 1/2 cup water
    1 Tbsp oil

Mix batter; cook immediately or refrigerate for several hours

    [crepe filling]       
1 8 oz. package cream cheese, softened 
1 cup sour cream

          [crepe sauce]         
3 Tbsp butter
            2 10 oz. packages frozen sliced strawberries, partially thawed 
              2 Tbsp grated orange rind or lemon peel (I prefer lemon taste over   orange, but both are good.) 
4 tsp lemon juice
  2 Tbsp sugar
 
[directions]
1. Make the batter or take it out of the refrigerator and preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Take the strawberries out to partially thaw (I run under warm water for a few minutes) and take cream cheese out to soften
3. Heat a buttered or sprayed medium sized skillet on medium
4. Once hot, place approx. one cup of batter in the skillet 


5. Swirl the batter around to make sure it is equally distributed around the edges. Should be a thin batter coat.
6. Once it starts to cook, carefully lift up edges with a spatula, letting batter from the top drip underneath; you may also place a loose foil covering over the top to help cook the top of the batter. This is very quick because it is so thin.


7. Once crepe is cooked, flip it onto a plate and continuing cooking the rest. Put a towel over the plate to keep them warm.


8. Beat the cream cheese until smooth and gradually add the sour cream; set aside
9. Puree strawberries in blender and put in saucepan.
10. Add butter, orange rind/lemon peel, lemon juice and sugar to saucepan.
11. Heat sauce to boiling 
12. Take one crepe and place a large spoonful throughout the middle and roll up.

13. Do with the rest of the crepes, placing them in a slightly buttered baking dish. 
14. Pour half of the sauce over crepes.
15. Bake for 15 minutes.
16. Take out and pour remaining sauce over the top for serving. (Optional: powdered sugar on top)
17. Enjoy!


11.15.2011

Thanksgiving planner

Considering I am no Paula Deen and am hosting Thanksgiving this year, I decided to get really serious with organization. The go-with-the-flow method just doesn't work well. Something will end up burnt. 

Thanks to Jenny Steffens awesome, crazy organized templates - I went to town on serious organization for the whole week of Thanksgiving. You can see my planning below and download the templates here.

I figured just in case you are as crazy as I am, maybe you would like to borrow these templates. 

In addition to getting all my recipes together, I made a large shopping list. On the shopping list, I am researching coupons and noting the best deals to get items.  

Moreover, I will be cooking side dishes before hand, crock-potting and getting out all of my cooking and serving utensils before, all to hopefully make this turkey day a breeze. 




 
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