"A Penny Saved Is A Penny Earned"

Friday, September 4, 2009

Family Meals Under $5 - Lodge Ribs

My good friend Julie gave me this recipe. Her family used to make it at their restaurant. It's super easy and super good too. You get to use the crockpot, so it's also a great dinner to have when you have a lot of back-to-school events.

I will say that I haven't made this dish in awhile because of the cost of the meat. There is no way I'd be able to keep it under $5 except for a good sale on the ribs and some good couponing. As you can see the main dish takes up most of the cost of the meal. Thank goodness for the garden to provide a healthy and delicious side dish.

Lodge Ribs - $4.33
Mashed Potatoes - .64c
Sauteed Garden Vegetables - Free (I used zucchini, bell pepper and tomatoes)

Total - $4.97

Lodge Ribs
Boneless country style pork spare ribs, 1/2 lb per person - 99c lb @ Safeway = $3.85/3.89lbs
1 18 oz bottle BBQ sauce - free (I don't remember the price because I got it earlier this summer when it was on sale at Albertsons. I had a coupon and was able to use a doubler coupon, so I got it for free -Yeah!)
1 pt maple syrup - .48c see recipe below

Season Ribs with salt and pepper. Layer in a greased crockpot, ribs (about 4 or 5), syrup and BBQ sauce. Keep repeating layers till all meat is used Cook on high 3-4 hrs. Reduce heat to low and cook an additional hour.

Maple Syrup
1 c water
2c sugar
1/2 t mapleine
Bring water to a boil. Add sugar and mapleine. Stir till sugar is dissolved.
This is the way I have made my syrup for years. It's so much cheaper than the store bought kind. If you want to thicken it up a bit you can add corn syrup.

Mashed potatoes
8 potatoes @ .08c ea = .64c
Boil and mash.

I'd have to say the frugal skill I used with this dinner was patience. Sometimes it's just not worth giving in to higher prices. I really love this recipe but when meat prices went up I knew this just wasn't something I was going to be able to make. Since I have 8 in my family I need to get a least 4lbs of meat for this. I've been waiting for prices to come down to where I knew I could afford it (around 99c/lb) and eventually they did.

In the meantime we ate many other delicious meals. So instead of giving in to high prices, a little patience will help keep your grocery budget where you want it.

Live less, live more

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