Sunday, December 7, 2008

Spaving 101

In an attempt to keep expenses down, we've stopped going out for dinner. Not that we ate out every night, but, if I'm being perfectly honest, I'd have to admit that I rarely, if ever, cooked on a Friday or Saturday night. That is not to imply that we were dining at five-star restaurants several times a month, but we were certainly no strangers to take-out. But I've put an end to that tomfoolery.

And so now it seems that my dishwasher runs constantly. And I pretty much live at the grocery store. In fact, this past week, the check-out girl at my local Harris Teeter (I know, I know, there are less expensive places to shop) gave me a standing ovation for saving $60 on my grocery bill. Not really saving, but rather "spaving" (which means the more you spend, the more you save). It sounds like twisted mathematics to the layperson, but those of us in the know understand the secret behind spaving. That is, to purchase something (ideally an item that you need) at a reduced price, in bulk quantities.

Having my husband around comes in handy when it comes to preparing all of these additional meals. Because, again, if I am being perfectly honest, I'd have to admit that he's a far better cook than I. Tonight he made ribs (which I purchased on special this week - buy one, get one free) that were beyond scrumptious.

He boiled them in a special secret sauce that included lots of beer and brown sugar and then finished them on the grill to crispy perfection. I felt a little bit like Fred Flintstone when he brought them to the table (which reminds me, I have some freezer burned chop meat that I can turn into brontosaurus burgers later this week. Wilma would be impressed.)

The ribs were a huge hit with my son and husband, but my near-vegetarian, finicky daughter just about dry heaved as she choked down a few bites. She cannot tolerate the leanest of meats, much less a fatty piece of pork coated in a thick, sugary glaze. Luckily, my contribution to the meal was mashed potatoes and so she made a meal out of our starchy side item.

Unfortunately for my daughter, since the ribs were a BOGOF special, they will show up one more time before the year is out. Perhaps "we'll" make them again when she has dinner plans elsewhere and we'll invite the Rubbles.


Karen said...

We (aka Betty and Barney Rubble) would love to come for Jim's special secret sauce ribs! I can relate to the newly regular running of the dishwasher and the regular running to HT. Once I get a job and learn about restaurants in my new hometown, we'll probably revert to our eat out/take out patterns of old. But for now, it's kind of nice...Love that Vic card!

Anonymous said...

Ribs night is our favorite here. We haven't had them in a while, thanks for the reminder. Don't forget that old standby for cheap meals: beans. My kids have grown to love em, and they're so easy from a can (but better and cheaper when dry and soaked overnight). Saute some onions and garlic, add some herbs and spices, serve over rice or couscous. Add grated cheddar or Mexican mix cheese on top. Delicious. A little decased hot italian turkey sausage makes it even better, but sounds like Maddy would have none of that.

Also, for fun shopping for the newly thrifty, do not underestimate the thrift shop. I'm addicted to them and have found uncountable treasures over the years for next to nothing.

Anonymous said...

Hey, do I hear that Karen moved to Charlotte? From Boston? What came over her???