Weekly Dinner Deals 7/20/11

Welcome to Weekly Dinner Deals on Cheap Thrills!  We show you how to put together great meals with the week’s sales.  These deals can be price matched, or you may have bargain items in your freezer or pantry.  Meals serve a family of four, two adults and two kids.  If you have a tween or teen, or very hungry adults, you may need to increase quantities.

Your best friend this week is the Tyson whole deli chicken $5 – $2 coupon HERE = $3!  It would cost more than $3 just for the raw chicken.  Then you have to cook it, and pay for the heating of the oven, then the air conditioner, and who wants to be in an unbearable kitchen?!  The chicken comes really hot, but in a terrific zip-top pouch that can reheat right in the microwave if you have to (no extra pans!).  I put the bones, etc. back in the bag and zip it for disposal.  The chicken is usually 5.98, so for about the same cost, you can get two!

Meal One:

Get two chickens and either keep hot or reheat.  Cut the breasts (or whichever four portions you prefer) for dinner; from the two chickens, you should get at least 3 meals (see below).  Chicken for this meal $2.  Make noodles (NoYolks, ~.40 from previous sale), drain and butter.  Microwave steam some carrots from SuperSaver (1/3 of that 2# bag, .60).  A delicious, kitchen-cool dinner for about $3.00.

When the chicken has cooled (after dinner), take untouched portions and pick the meat.  You should have enough for two more meals.  Portion into zipper freezer bags and refrigerate or freeze after labeling.

Meal Two:

Use 1 to 1 1/2 cups of the remaining chicken (1.50) — mix with 1/4 to 1/2 cup of your favorite barbecue sauce (pennies on sale with coupon) and reheat in the microwave.  Serve on buns (.40 for four at Aldi), with raw carrots and maybe chips.  Or make a green salad (.50) or slaw.   This makes a quick summer meal for about $3.00, depending on your sides.

ALTERNATIVELY, you could bag the chicken with the sauce mixed in (or not), and freeze it for later use.

Meal Three for the freezer:

Creamy Chicken Enchiladas will cost you about $2 for the batch if you use stocked-up items from sales.  Use 1 1/2 to 2 cups of the remaining chicken.  Use tortillas on sale at SuperSaver (.49 for the meal).  Pick your freezer and pantry stash for shredded cheese (or shred your own), and the other ingredients the enchiladas (here is a version of the recipe I use, from Holly Clegg’s Trim & Terrific Meals for the Freezer that I got from the library; I recommend you get the original recipe):

1 1/2 cups shredded colby jack or mild cheddar

4 oz neufchatel (1/3 fat) cream cheese, softened

1/2 can cream of chicken soup

1/2 cup chopped onion or green onion

2 oz diced green chiles if desired

1/2 packet taco seasoning packet

Mix the chicken, 3/4 cup of the colby jack, and the rest of these ingredients together well.  Use an ice cream scoop (for even portions) and place mixture evenly on 10 tortillas.  Use a spoon to smooth the mixture out over each tortilla; roll up.  Place 1/4 cup enchilada sauce on the bottom of the freezer pan you’re using.  (Use 1/2 can total of red enchilada sauce, or make THIS ONE.)  Line up the enchilada rolls on top of the sauce.  Cover with 1/4 cup remaining enchilada sauce, then the remaining shredded cheese.  Cover, label and freeze this dish for a fast microwaveable meal later on. 

ALTERNATIVELY, you could place a bag of chicken, and 10 of the tortillas in a large freezer bag, to use as a quick-make kit after you find the other items at great prices. 

What about Stock?

These chickens have been rotisserie-cooked for a long time.  Their nutrients and flavor have pretty much been used up going back into the meat.  I wouldn’t recommend trying to make stock from these particular bones.  Another time, perhaps.

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