Stretching your dollars

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Star*, Mar 4, 2009.

  1. Star*

    Star* call 911

    This could be a play date or a cheap lunch for a teen - or you.


    It may just be on Fridays - but they are having .49 hamburgers & .59 cheeseburgers. No limit.

    Hope this helps -I'm going to go get Dude those coupon books - he can eat all of that in one sitting - but still - for a dollar - I'll be a popular Mom for a minute. lol
  2. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    WOW!! I hope our McD's participates!! Where did you hear about these?? And the 59 cent chzburgers are AWESOME!!

  3. ML

    ML Guest

    You can freeze those .49 cent burgers too! You're a popular cd friend always xo
    Lasted edited by : Mar 5, 2009
  4. cadydid

    cadydid New Member

    Thanks for the info! I hope they have them here. I'll have to check tomorrow. This would be perfect for when he goes with his IPR worker or his case manager.
  5. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    shoot...this is excellent. great for that broke young adult who loves a mickey d's cone and wants to take dtr out for lunch.

    I may buy a few books and send them on the van with the work crew too. Sounds like a great late night snack when they have the
  6. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Star...where did you see this? I just went to my McDonalds and they didnt have the coupon books? Is it only SC? If so I can get Tony to pick them up when he is down in Charleston.
  7. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    I'll have to check with our Mc D's and see if they do it. So far, they've participated in most of these. So keeping my fingers crossed. :)

    Thanks Star.
  8. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Only in the USA, I'd say. Plus, we have to be fairly health-conscious in our family, but there are some good healthy options at Maccas here. But for a good burger, we still get better ones at the usual 'greasy spoon' type of places, "milk bars" we call them. A good Aussie burger is the size of a bread-and-butter plate and takes two hands to hold. It has, between the buns, a beef patty (usually 250g or about half a pound), fried onions, lettuce, sliced tomato, tomato sauce and sliced beetroot all as standard, but with the added option of fried bacon, a fried egg, a slice of pineapple and a slice of cheese melting over it all. "One with the lot" is a huge feast that only a hungry teen (or tradesman on a lunch break) can demolish. One of these costs about the same as a Big Mac.

    A TV show on tonight, one of those lifestyle ones, had an episode focussed on money-saving ideas. They dealt with how to marinate cheap steak so it tastes like expensive stuff; they made a really delicious-looking spinach and lentil soup with bruschetta; showed how easy it is to change the glass in a window; showed how to tidy up your pots to make them look really good, how to make pots cheaply; how to renovate furniture so it looks fabulous designer-style; how to groom the dog yourself instead of paying someone else. I especially liked the decoupage dining chair, it looked good. The grow-your-own vegetable segment was good because it focussed on what you can use to make your vegetable garden beds out of, even if you're renting or only have a deck.

    I'm happy to share any of this if it can be useful. Especially the marinade tips.

    With regard to saving money on meat meals, I can recommend trying to buy in bulk where you can. It doesn't always need a lot of freezer space. If you can plan ahead with your meals you can save a lot of money. I'll have to use Aussie prices as an example, but we go to a fairly high-quality butcher. He's worth it, because he does save me money because the quality means less wastage and his cheap cuts are so much better quality than another butcher's equivalent, that I can make better quality meals overall. If I buy cheap mince (hamburger) from a cheap butcher, I can find it cooks down to a lot more fat and it's yellow and yucky. Cheap mince from my butcher gives me more lean meat in the end result, it tastes better and it's healthier.

    But back to budget-beaters - my butcher sells whole beef rump for about $14 a kilo. If I buy rump steak from him, it will cost me $20 a kilo. So if I pay $14 a kilo, I DO have to buy an entire rump which can cost me $60, but the butcher will slice it for me, pack it neatly (and flat) so when I get home, it can all go right into the freezer.
    Cheaper cuts of beef cost more than $14 a kilo. The only beef that costs less, is mince (hamburger) at $10 a kilo or gravy beef ($12 a kilo). Osso bucco cuts are $10 a kilo, but this includes the bone in the middle. However, cooked right, the marrow in that bone enriches the pot and makes it a gourmet meal. So there is very little waste.

    To get the best (most economical) use out of the steak, I often allow one to thaw and as it begins to thaw, I slice it paper-thin with a very sharp knife, cutting across the grain. If I havne't got the cheap rump, I do this with topside steak or round or blade steak. Slice it very thin, then marinate it in a stir-fry sauce. Cut up soime vegetables Chinese-style and have everything ready on small plates or in bowls. Then get ready to cook - stir-fry the vegetables first, beginning with the ones needing the longest cooking. Then tip the vegetables into a bowl, and get ready to cook the meat. Stir-fry it on its own, then just before serving, throw the vegetables back in to warm through. This way the vegetables don't get stewed to billy-oh while the meat cooks, they stay just the way a good stir-fry should.

    I've fed 8 people with one steak's worth of beef. If you want to be generous with meat (and have fewer vegetables) then you can use two steaks. For tougher steak, there is a marinade that tenderises it fast - a teaspoon of carb soda in a tablespoon of warm water. Soak the thinly sliced beef for half an hour, rinse and then treat with Chinese marinade etc and cook as usual.

    A marinade they used tonight on the TV show - kiwifruit puree. They rinsed the steaks off before cooking, but kiwifruit has a digestive enzyme in it which helps tenderise it. Don't soak the meat for too long though, no more an a couple of hours, or the steaks will begin to dissolve.

    I have other budget-beating recipes I can highly recommend. But for those who can't get the Maccas vouchers, at least these are some cheap options.

  9. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    One of the recent cost saving moves I made was to purchase reusable, washable furnace filters. The regular filters used to be cheap (around $2) but they've gone up to $5-7, if I can even find the size we need. Reusables cost me around $20 at Lowe's and I bought two so I can have one washed up.

    I always love buy-one-get-one -ree, and yesterday I was rummaging through the turkey breasts at the store to pick out two when I noticed there were wildly varying prices. This store honors mismarked prices so I brought home 6 turkey breasts for the freezer for under $10.
  10. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Marg, you always have neat ideas. I like the baking soda (carb soda is called that here) and water to tenderize meats. The kiwifruit puree is a neat idea, but kiwi is pretty expensive here (not native, at least to our state) and thank you is allergic to it still. But either one is still a GREAT alternative to the "meat tenderizer" sold in bottles or commonly recommended here. That is just MSG and will give many people headaches as one of the LEAST side effects. I hadn't heard of the carb soda technique.
  11. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Another thing you can use if kiwifruit isn't available, is pawpaw or papaya. Or pineapple (juice or fruit, fresh). Same reason - it contains digestive enzymes.

    I also buy gravy beef (the cheapest beef I can get). It's got loads of flavour but if you cook it too hard for too long it goes tough and dry. it is often used in soups, you pick out the meat and just use the stock. But I've found that if I slow-cook it, so the surface of the casserole is barely shimmering with convection current, then about 4 hours of this will leave the meat still beautifully moist but just about falling apart. The flavour is amazing. I use it in Indian recipes (I make my own spice mix so I can keep it full of flavour but no fire) and in Italian recipes. Just about anything, you can modify the recipe to use tough but flavourful cuts of meat. If you choose a cut of met tat isn't popular, you can save a lot of money. When it becomes popular, you have to change tactics and recipes. Lamb shanks are now very popular over here, so they're gourmet-priced.

    I also buy chicken bones and chicken necks, and make my own stock. I then pick the meat off the cooked bones and use that too, in the recipes. I make my own pasta. It's what I call gourmet poverty food.

    All recipes available if you want. But I need to go to bed now, it's late.

  12. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    Marg, don't you have the packaged meat tenderizer available there? It's in the spice aisle here and when on sale is pretty cheap. I think it uses enzymes from pineapple.

    I'm finding that the tradionally "cheap" cuts of meat aren't always the cheapest. Often I can buy the loss leaders or close out packages at less cost.

    I made my first curry last week, with homemade paneer! It was good.
  13. Star*

    Star* call 911

    Janet -

    This was on one of the threads that I subscribe to for frugal living - I think it's called Momsense. I haven't gone to our McD's yet - but when I do - if they have them I'll get you some -
  14. Marg's Man

    Marg's Man Member

    Yes we could get meat tenderiser in a pack but most commercial products have other ingredients more intended to cut the manufacturing cost than to have any real function. Marg is allergic (or least sensitive in various ways) to most of these additives so we tend to avoid them. Therefore she has (clever lady that she is) has found other things that do the same task and are free of these additives.

    Marg's Man